Review: Where Ya Goin’?

Where Ya Goin’? opens onto the Australian outback. It’s the start of an adventure into new friendships, companionship, and sharing.

Echidna sets out towards the unknown. With a string of amazing native animals picked up along the way to who-knows-where, anything goes.

Echidna has planned a journey in his worn, rickety bus with just a bag of marshmallows. 

Guided by a map, is he headed towards the Black Stump, the Back of Beyond, Woop Woop, there and back, or down the track? It doesn’t matter!

Stopping for petrol, he finds Galah perched on the tin roof with his guitar, busking for offerings. Echidna decides a song or two on the way will do them good. One becomes two.

Further along, they encounter Emu boiling her brew over a campfire. Two become three.

They come across Wombat; a solitary, sad and sorry sight, sitting beneath a tree decorated with coloured flags, celebrating his birthday. May I join the jolly gang? He does.

The old bus is filling fast and just past the Gnarly Beach sign they find Koala and Dingo engrossed in their gumnut bingo.

Where ya goin’? Dingo howls. Before they know it, six new friends are hanging from the bus windows.

Snake with a six-tiered cake at his by the roadside bakery, hisses his way onto the bus. The gang press on.

A stop at the seaside sees Lizard and Skink along with their esky full of drink, added to the loaded bus. Soon after, Crocodile has goodies to offer if they take him along to the Back of Nowhere.

The deal done, they can’t say no to Bandicoot and his Kiwi fruit for they are now eleven and extra food will be needed. Parrot and his carrot, with Pademelon and a watermelon are added to the busload of buddies that arrives in Dunedoo.

What have Kangaroo and Joey cooking on the barbie?

With a camp fire burning in the background, could this will be the best birthday party Wombat will ever have?

Full page illustrations by Matty Mitchell allow an earth to sky view of the surroundings. The expressive features of the characters detail their sense of freedom and easy-going Aussie attitude, hilarious activities, and conversation between new friends.

For more fun, kids can download colouring sheets and activities. There is also a cipher for kids to uncover the secret message hidden throughout the book.

Written, illustrated and printed in Australia, this superb counting picture book in rhyming slanguage with fabulous alliteration and assonance, can claim the completely original, dinky-di Aussie label.

Title: Where Ya Goin’?
Author: Steve Heron
Illustrator: Matty Mitchell
Publisher: Wide Eyed Press, $ 15.90
Publication Date: 1 August 2021
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780648161189
For ages: 4 – 8
Type: Picture Book

September 24, 2021 at 12:36AM Anastasia Gonis