Night Walk (Alison Binks, Berbay)
This second picture book from Melbourne artist Alison Binks will appeal to gentle souls. In Night Walk, a young boy named Caspar enjoys a night-time adventure while camping with his family. The landscape he explores seems to have a life of its own and as he wanders through it, Caspar reflects on the wider world around him. Binks is interested in the things that connect us: her story is full of echoes, large and small. Caspar’s unzipping of his tent at the book’s opening is later mirrored by a wombat poking its nose out of its hole, while a discarded snake skin reminds him of his friend Levi, who is revealed to be having an adventure of her own in the book’s final pages. Binks’ artwork has a timeless feel, and as a storyteller, she has a distinctively lyrical voice. While the story is suitable for ages three and up, the meditative tone of the storytelling and Binks’ sophisticated language will likely appeal more to an early-primary readership. By depicting Caspar as an experienced bushwalker—he always wears a whistle around his neck and can recognise an echidna’s trail—Night Walk may also inspire and educate children wishing to go on night walks of their own.
Bronte Coates is the digital content coordinator and prize manager at Readings