Hello, Sydney! (Megan McKean, Thames & Hudson)
Fifteen of Sydney’s favourite locations, for tourists and residents alike, supply the backdrop for this spot-and-find adventure by designer Megan McKean. All the icons are featured—the Sydney Opera House, the harbour ferries and Taronga Zoo, to name a few—and each picture contains six seagulls, as well as many other birds, animals and people, for readers to spot. Sydneysiders in particular will find the spot-the-seagull motif amusing—the maritime bird being ever-present in any harbour visit, though in considerably more abundance than they are in the book. Drawn in a naïve style without perspective, in bold flat colours, each double-page spread has enough detail to keep the most eagle-eyed reader interested. While the illustrations may have benefitted from more contrast and use of white space, Hello, Sydney! is a flattering portrayal of Australia’s Emerald City, showing all the highlights in their best light. Warmly reminiscent of childhood holidays and vintage postcard collections, with the right amount of informative text for non-Sydneysiders, it is a fun, undemanding book for readers aged four and up and for visitors wanting a memento of the harbour city.
Louise Pfanner is an author, illustrator and bookseller