Hello, Melbourne! (Megan McKean, Thames & Hudson)
Megan McKean, the designer and illustrator who produced Hello, Sydney!, is back with a book celebrating the wonders of Melbourne. In this delightful look-and-find story, six magpies take the reader through the city, uncovering the most iconic spots, from heritage buildings and colourful laneways to rivers, sporting havens and theme parks. McKean has done her research. The book is peppered with interesting lesser-known facts, and the detailed illustrations are engaging, with spot-the-difference elements and hidden clues encouraging readers to revisit each page. The block-ish illustrations, use of shapes and solid colours give the book a vintage feel. The language is playful and descriptive, with the magpies speaking directly to the reader as they celebrate art, music and food in their sensory exploration of the city. Hello, Melbourne! is pitched at children aged three to six years, but can be enjoyed by the whole family as it blends the educational with the enjoyable. It makes a perfect gift book and travel companion for the curious child, giving them a degree of independence when researching their upcoming trip or reminiscing on trips past.
Maria H Alessandrino is a Perth-based writer and freelance reviewer