Tasmanian devil by Claire Saxby and Max Hamilton

cover image

Another welcome addition to the excellent Nature Storybooks by Walker Books, this non fiction text is complimented by a fictional story, all alongside stunning illustrations. While a story of a Tasmanian Devil develops as the mother goes off to search of food to enable her body to produce milk for her young, we see the pair exploring their environment, becoming more acquainted with what is there, becoming more adventurous and comfortable with their surroundings. So we see them looking out of the burrow in which they live, a former wombat burrow, borrowed by the Devil’s mother to have her pups, seeing other animals around, but running back inside. Mum comes back and the pair drinks their fill, then she is off again to forage.

At each page the story line is added to by a non fiction text lower on the page and in a different font. Within this text we find facts: Devils can eat up to 40% of their body weight in one day! Or that pups can be left behind at four months while their mother forages. We find out how big they are, what they eat, where they live. Did you know they once roamed Australia?

At the end of the book is a short outline of the Tasmanian devil, a concise index to the facts in the book,  alongside information about the author and illustrator.

Readers of fiction and non fiction will love this book, full of facts but also laying down a story, one which helps readers understand the Devil and its habitat.

The illustrations show us the wide expanse of Tasmanian bushland where the Devil lives; Hamilton includes other animals in that vegetation, and allows readers to see the different vegetation in a Devil’s environment.

This is a wonderful addition to a noteworthy series of books. Teacher's notes are available.

Themes: Tasmanian Devil, Survival, Tasmania.

Fran Knight