“I truly enjoyed Peter Bowes new book. Bennison Books is marketing it as a children’s book, and I think it works well for that purpose, but adults are going to enjoy it as much as any child would.
What I liked most is Bowes’ portrait of New South Wales through the eyes of Toby, an orphaned six year old who, because of a car accident, ends up moving to a remote part of New South Wales to live with his eccentric grandfather. The book is built out of incidents: a large shark swimming beneath the dinghy Toby and his grandfather as they fish in their dinghy, a wild storm that threatens to blow a metal roof into the sky, a search for a gold mine where a wild dingo lurks, threatening a small boy who rarely wears shoes, but the incidents build and build into a story that culminates in an ending sure to melt your heart.
What is especially appealing to a midwesterner is the wildlife portrayed in the story, the strange kinds of fish, such as a trevally, the half dingo, half dogs that are residents at the cabin where Toby and his grandfather live, pythons and other snakes, bloodworms, and wallabyes, among a host of birds, some, like the sea gull, familiar, others, like the cockatoo and parrots, more exotic, at least to my knowledge. The aborigines in the story, like Monty, are also wonderful to meet.
This is not Harry Potter, filled with pulse-pounding adventures. Rather, it is a portrait of people and a place that brings alive just how unbelievable our planet and all of the wildlife, flora, fauna, fish, and humans are. The story, in the end, gets to you, climbing to a place in your spirit that makes you say to yourself, “yep, I’m really glad I read this.”
Tom Davis. Amazon review.