Great Goal! Marvellous Mark! (Katrina Germein, illus by Janine Dawson, Ford Street)
Great Goal! Marvellous Mark! is a lively alphabet book for budding AFL champions. The story of a junior football game is woven into the alphabet book structure, capturing the joy (and lingo) of a beloved national pastime. Katrina Germein (Thunderstorm Dancing, My Dad Thinks He’s Funny) does a great job at capturing the fast-paced nature of the game in the story. Janine Dawson’s colourful and energetic illustrations are well-suited to the AFL theme. There is a good spread of boys and girls from a range of backgrounds in the book; Germein and Dawson have made a conscious effort to show that Aussie Rules is for anyone who wants to have a go. While the protagonist is a boy, the girls in the book play just as hard. Great Goal! Marvellous Mark! would be a great present for preschool-aged footy fans. Its simplicity and energy also make it a great option for slightly older reluctant readers; there are only a few sentences per page, but the language is not babyish and the illustrated characters are older than average for an alphabet book.
Amy Nicholls-Diver is a primary literacy editor from Melbourne