May Giveaway: A Little Bush Maid & Mates at Billabong by Mary Grant Bruce

If you don't already know, Mary Grant Bruce (1875-1958) was one of the best known authors of Australian literature for children. Her Billabong series of fifteen books is probably foremost of all her works but there are other stand alone novels (e.g. Golden Fiddles) that are excellent also.
The 454 page hardback book pictured below published in 1981 by John Ferguson, Sydney, contains the first two books in the Billabong series that were first published in 1910 and 1911: A little Bush Maid and Mates at Billabong.

I wrote about A Little Bush Maid here.
Here is a short taste by 12 year old Moozle on the second book:

In Mates at Billabong, the Linton's city cousin, Cecil, comes to Billabong for a holiday. Obnoxious, spoilt and thoughtless, he looks down his nose at the life the Lintons lead. Cecil gets off to a bad start by falling off his horse into a clump of thorns, thus tearing his coat which is in the newest of fashions. He then sends a letter to his mother complaining about all the oddities of life at Billabong. He thinks he is the best at horse riding, and gets very upset when he is not allowed to ride Norah's pony, Bobs...

Both books make for great family read alouds and would appeal to confident readers from about age 9 years and up. As the series progress, they cover Norah's adventures during World War I and are more suitable for older readers - a lovely series to grow with your child. 
Be warned. Once you have a child interested in life at Billabong you will be badgered to find more in the series...just saying.

If you would like this book, see my original post Giveaways in the Merry Month of May about how you can enter to win.



Kat said…
We have these 2 but haven't read them together yet. My biggest boy is 8 this year, planning on reasing them together. They sound delightful!
Brian Joseph said…
I have some relatives that I think would really get a lot out of these. I like the fact that that the books advance along with the readers' ages.

I wonder if there are any modern series that do this.
Gently Mad said…
This sounds like a book that would be good for people around the world just to get a taste of life in another place. I know I said that before but it bears repeating. I wish I had been more cognizant of international literature when I was a kid. Classic lit from every nation should be preferred than the bubble gum fare that is mostly offered in our libraries.

On another subject. Since you are a homeschooler, I was wondering if you would check out my latest review. My brother-in-law has just published a book he has created called The Fifth Day: Sea Creatures.

It is the first in a series that he plans on doing for every day of Creation. His illustrations are beautiful and I think homeschoolers with young children would like it. I'm trying to help him get the word out.

If you wouldn't mind looking at the book and spreading the word, I'd really appreciate it. It's available on Amazon.
Carol said…
I think 8 is a good age to start, especially if you're reading them aloud. I'm sure you'll both enjoy them!
Carol said…
Off the top of my head I can't think of any modern books that do this but I'm sure there must be some. The Anne of Green Gables series & The Little House books are similar in that they follow someone's life so grow with the reader, but obviously they're not modern either. If you come across any, I'd like to hear about them :)
Carol said…
Elementary schools here tend to focus almost entirely on Australian history & literature but I've always tried to provide books that encompass a wider view.
I read your review & had a look at your brother-in-law's website. His illustrations are lovely & my daughter was interested in how he did his illustrations. Will be happy to spread the word. I love beautiful artwork in children's books.
Gently Mad said…
Carol. Thanks so much. I wouldn't normally promote a book just because he's my brother-in-law but I happen to think he does wonderful work. He uses a technique of water color and pointillism with pen and ink.
He plans on doing a whole series of the animals God created on the fifth day. He's already completing Winged Creatures.
I bought the book and it is a nice paperback.

Popular Posts