Last Tree in the City is Peter Carnavas at his best. It’s a poignant tale about a boy finding beauty in his overcrowded and colourless city environment.

Every day, Edward rides to the end of his street to visit the last tree left in the city. Here he sits and pretends that his world is a completely different place.

Edward would forget the concrete and the cars. He would forget the city altogether.

Edward is devastated when the inevitable happens and that tree is chopped down to make room for even more buildings. For a time he is rendered powerless.

Without the tree, Edward’s days were empty. He had nowhere to go

But one day, Edward gets back on his bike and pedals towards new hope.

As usual, Peter Carnavas’s illustrations are full of colour, gentle humour and powerful emotions.

The illustrations and the text work in perfect harmony, but for me, the power in this story is in the tale itself, in the ability of one child to change the world just by doing something small.

Last Tree in the City is a book that will bring enjoyment and meaning to young readers of all ages.



This book from New Frontier is a variation on an old favourite.

Row, Row, Row Your Boat is a song that would be familiar to most children.

In this lift-the-flap book, Angie Lionetto-Civa has transformed this song into a tale of surprise and adventure.

Two boys journey down the river and come across an assortment of animals. Young readers will enjoy ‘searching and finding’ them. The animals hop into the boat and help them find other animals, who are soon added to their overcrowded boat.

As the boat becomes fuller, there’s a sense of anticipation that something is going to happen.

The reader goes on an adventure too, discovering the animals at the same time as the young boys in the story. The repetition and rhyme are something young children will be comfortable with.

Row, Row, Row Your Boat rises to a climax with the appearance of a crocodile and I’m not going to spoil the story by saying what happens next.

Serena Geddes’ playful illustrations help create the atmosphere of merriment as the boys row “merrily, merrily, merrily”.

Row, Row, Row Your Boat is a colourful, vibrant interactive story that will be enjoyed by young readers.

Published by

Dee White

Dee White lives with her husband and two sons in a small rural country town which has more kangaroos than people. She has worked as an advertising copywriter and journalist and has had numerous career changes because until recently, writing wasn’t considered to be a proper job. Letters to Leonardo, her first novel with Walker Books Australia, was published in 2009 to great critical acclaim.