Author – Leanne White
Leanne White grew up in the beautiful sea-side town of Albany. A very free range child, Leanne and her brothers roamed the bush or beach for hours. Wildlife encounters (feathered, furred or finned) were part of their common days play.
Later as a teacher, she moved to the far north of Western Australia, and lived on a little farm surrounded by bush. Here the wildlife was even more exciting with brighter colours and a cheekier nature. In fact, it seemed the wildlife did not understand how to stay in the bush.
Friendly inhabitants of her garden were a bower bird, whistling ducks, tawny frog mouth owls, frilled necked lizards, wallabies, bats, sugar gliders, frogs and dingoes ( just to name a few!)
This was when Leanne began to paint and write stories about birds, animals, reptiles and insects.
Living once again in Albany with her husband, two children, two dogs, two galahs and twenty chooks, Leanne has written or illustrated 8 children’s picture books.
Leanne uses her art to promote Australian wildlife. The fragility of their existence in an ever-changing environment is her main concern. She endeavours to illustrate an ability to co-exist, thus maintaining Australian wildlife heritage.
Leanne has 25 years of teaching and 15 years of commercial art experience to draw on in her children’s book writing and illustrating. Her primary ethos in children’s books is to develop the child’s imagination and curiosity in an ever-changing world.
Leanne has written 8 books but I will review 5 –
She’s My Mum & He’s My Dad – For me you can’t have one of these books without the other. The two books work well together. The illustrations are large and colorful, the native animal are gorgeous and the sentiments are simple. While the simple statements of what the Mum and Dad mean to and do for their children are heartfelt these are also qualities we all hope our children grow up to possess.
Excerpt of She’s My Mum – My mum cares, My Mum shares. My Mum holds me safe and dear
Excerpt of He’s My Dad – My Dad catches me when i I fall and picks me up when I am feeling down. ….. My Dad knows what makes me laugh…
Both Parents and Teachers could you use the simple statements in these books to allow children to talk about and recognise emotions. How the actions of others can make you feel safe and loved or opposite actions could bring on the opposite feelings.
A wonderful book to allow children to show their parents and friends on how they make them feel loved and valued
Leanne’s other books are just as beautifully illustrated.
Dilly Dally All Day Long – is by far my favourite. Depicting two children who dawdle and daydream and are constantly distracted by the bush and animals around them on their way to the billabong, constantly running to catch up with their friends. The story os about children in the far north of WA having fun in the bush.
Parents and Teachers
This book can show children in the city how children in remote bush areas have fun and spend their holidays. As the children in the book are constantly distracted by local animals and birds it can be used to make children aware of the many different animals in Australia’s bush and some of their characteristics.
An All Australian Alphabet Book – I instantly loved the sentences in this book that describes each letter of the alphabet. The illustrations are intricate with detail and some of the most beautiful I have seen. Some are coloured and others are black and white but older children can easily be encouraged to look for other detail in the drawings.
Parents and Teachers
The expansion of vocabulary children will gain by reading this alphabet book would be helpful to any child. Each drawing matches the sentence and the children can be encouraged to look for more detail, count the animals and discuss the animals and what they are depicted doing.
Merindah and LuckyM – Merindah rescues a lost chick, Lucky. Lucky grows to be a Brolga, who must learn to be a Brolga and leave with a mate.
Parents and Teachers.
This book touches the growth a Brolga, how to care for an orphaned chick and the last page gives many factual details. Brolgas are beautiful birds and this book gives a lot to discuss with their dancing and how many animals must remain wild even though raised by humans by necessity.