Welcome to the blog of the Tasmanian branch of the Children's Book Council of Australia!

Monday 20 June 2011

Penny Reads Like An Egyptian ...

I'm just back from Melbourne, my prime motivation for being there to visit the Tutankhamun exhibition at the Melbourne Museum. You see I'm an Ancient Egypt tragic so this was one exhibition I wasn't going to miss. And what an extraordinary experience it was - to be able to stand before beautiful, priceless artifacts that are well over 3,000 years old!
In the weeks leading up to my visit a friend offered to lend me a children's novel set in Ancient Egypt and naturally I jumped at the chance. The Golden Goblet was written by American Eloise Jarvis McGraw back in 1964 and it is definitely a classic. Eloise's research was meticulous and her descriptive narrative had me completely immersed in the atmosphere and culture of that incredible era, right from page one. So enthralled was I that I have ordered my own copy and a copy of her 1953 book Mara, Daughter of the Nile, which I can't wait to read.
Of course we have our very own Aussie children's author who specialises in ancient civilisations. Geoffrey McSkimming has travelled all over the world to research his wonderfully entertaining series which features 'that well-known archaeologist and little-known poet' Cairo Jim. Books from the series have been translated into many languages and are sold all over the world. How could you not pick up a book entitled Cairo Jim and the Secret Sepulchre of the Sphinx or Cairo Jim and the Rorting of Ramses' Regalia or even Cairo Jim and the Sunken Sarcophagus? I've just finished reading Cairo Jim Amidst the Petticoats of Artemis, yet another rollicking adventure that had me grinning from start to finish.
But for those of us who like something a little more contemporary, I did read Caroline Graham's Murder at Madingley Grange from my Kindle at every opportunity whilst travelling to, from and around Melbourne. Here is an author who just has a way with characters, who gives them such personality, such vibrancy that by the end of her books I feel as if I've actually met them.
Aren't books a delight? Happy reading everyone! 

- Penny Garnsworthy

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