Isn’t it bizarre when you suddenly notice something and have to question why it has never been done before? How was this bright idea never contemplated and put into fruition until this moment?
This was one of the thoughts that crossed my mind when I saw Beck Feiner’s book, Aussie Legends Alphabet. Until now, there has never really been a definitive collection of Australian personalities featured in a book for children. Sure there are history books that cover various people of note, but rarely do they feature an all-Australian cast.
This book changes that.
Essentially aimed at young children, with its board book cover, large text and bright illustrations, this book moves through the alphabet, listing various people and characters that have shaped Australia’s history. From retired AFL footballer Adam Goodes (A) to fictional characters Kath & Kim (K) to heart surgeon Victor Chang (V), each page of text is devoted to telling younger readers how that person helped to make Australia legendary. On the adjacent page, the corresponding letter is cleverly illustrated with the person (or people) that it represents.
Admittedly the alphabet rule is a tough one to master so there are a few exceptions- honorary Australians like Danish architect Jřrn Utzon (U) who designed the Sydney Opera House are included, and some of the more difficult letters (like X and Z) are covered creatively through INXS (X) and ‘Shazza, Wazza, Kezza, Bazza and the rest’ (Z). Given the challenging task of trying to give personalities to these letters, I think the author can be forgiven!
At the end of the book is a recap on each of the people represented within the pages. This includes information, such as birth and death (if applicable) dates, place of birth, and some added information about the person’s achievements.
This well-designed alphabet book provides a wealth of information, and would be beneficial to the education of anybody interested in Australia’s human legends.