Dirt by Sea
Tom Jellett (Text: Michael Wagner)
Publisher: Penguin Random House Australia
ISBN: 9781760894061
Awards Year: 2023
Category: Picture Book of the Year


Daisy lives in inland Australia with her dad and her grandparents. It’s home, and she loves the red dirt land around her. But when her dad realises that she’s never seen the beach and thinks the Australian anthem is about a country ‘dirt by sea’, he sets off to show her the ocean in a once-in-a-lifetime father-daughter trip along the Australian coast, inspired by the first holiday he took with Daisy's mum. Along the way they will learn about Australia and much, much more . . .


The CBCA judges say...

In this heart-warming journey around Australia, we meet Daisy, a feisty, emotionally intelligent and fun-loving child. Readers will delight in her adventures, spotting places they’ve visited in Australia and finding out more about others. The graphic novel format perfectly conveys the sense of a journey across time and place allowing readers to zoom in on more intimate moments. With each page turn, the colours used for each spread change to reflect time and place. The page of repeated strips as the pair drive across the Nullabor works as a welcome visual break after previously hectic panelled pages. The hand drawn maps on the endpapers show how learning extends beyond classrooms and into our experiences in the world. There is a warm relationship between Dad and Daisy and a beautiful sense of looking back to move forwards; both characters "grow" (physically, emotionally and intelligently) through their trip and time together.


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