In the past few years we have seen a rise in the number of children's picture books aimed at the Australiana market.
Two of my favourites are A is for Australia: A Factastic Tour and Australia: A Three Dimensional Expanding Country Guide.
Frane Lessac has captured the colours and textures of Australia in her beautiful book that features the usual and expected sites to see like Sydney, the Great Barrier Reef, Kakadu, Bondi Beach and Uluru.
However, she also takes us to many lesser known places.
Places like Iron Pot Lighthouse, Exmouth, Valley of the Giants, Rottnest Island and the Walls of Jerusalem National Park.
Lessac visits places with great tongue-twisting names such as Oodnadatta, Jindabyne, Yallingup and Qui Qui. She provides interesting, bite-sized facts for each place - facts that bring in history, traditions and origins. She covers the oldest, newest, tallest, smallest, biggest facts and figures as well. Indigenous, environmental and cultural elements are discussed.
Her landscape gouache paintings are bright and colourful with a focus on the distinctive features unique to each environment.
A is For Australia is a wonderful gift for overseas travellers when weight is not an issue (it's only available as a hardcover book at the moment.)
When weight is an issue, the perfect gift for overseas travellers is Australia: A Three Dimensional Expanding Country Guide.
Measuring about 10cm x 11cm, this expanding, concertina style guide to Australia is light weight and easy to tuck into an already full backpack or suitcase!
Illustrated by Charlotte Trounce, the folded pages slip easily into their firm protective case.
She covers the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Parliament House, Melbourne Cricket Ground, Twelve Apostles, Port Arthur, Daintree Rainforest, St Peter's Cathedral, Wave Rock, Uluru, the Ghan, Kakadu National Park and the Great Barrier Reef.
When expanded, sections of each page pop-out all along the front and back.
Each section gives a brief description explaining the significance and history of the icon concerned.
I love the simple, clean colours and lines used by Trounce and the retro feel sits well with the concertina design.
Australiana with a bit of class; not a cultural cringe in sight!