The Dream of the Thylacine

Margaret Wild, Ron Brooks

The Dream of the Thylacine
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The Dream of the Thylacine

Margaret Wild, Ron Brooks

The Dream of the Thylacine is a lament for a lost species, and a celebration of the Australian landscape. It interposes arresting text and images of the last known thylacine in a concrete cage with sweeping colour paintings of the animal in its natural environment. Intense, poetic and beautiful, this book will haunt you. Margaret Wild and Ron Brooks have created three other exceptional picture books together: Old Pig, Rosie and Tortoise and Fox. What a privilege to pay tribute to this highly original and unique book.a book for anyone of any age who has eyes to see, ears to hear and a heart to break. The economic 130-word text is an extended metaphor, an ode, a lament, yet also a lyric, reinforced by intriguing and absolutely ‘right’ illustrations. The thylacine here is representative of any hunted, caged, imprisoned creature capable of dreaming - of running wild, of claiming one’s biological and cultural birthright to be free.Thanks indeed to all concerned. Maurice Saxby, Magpies

Review

Though the last Thylacine died in the late 1930s, this remarkable creature is still very much alive in the hearts of many. The Dream of the Thylacine is the latest picture book from Margaret Wild and Ron Brooks, the team who brought us Fox, and is a beautiful and haunting tribute to a lost species.

In the Hobart Zoo, the last Thylacine lives behind a wire cage, but still remembers what it is like to roam free through the bush. Black and white photographs of the last Thylacine in captivity are followed by montages of wordless illustrations by Ron Brooks that show the Tasmanian Tiger in its natural habitat, surrounded by beauty and colour. The effect is quite breath-taking, and is a poignant reminder of what happens to the things we don’t take care of.

Holly Harper is a children’s book specialist at Readings Carlton.

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