Monday, February 11, 2013

First at Last and Other Stories by Julia McClelland

First at Last and Other Stories by Julia McClelland is an Australian gem published in 1990. The stories are all about Zachariah whom we meet in the first story. He is not happy with his name or the teasing he receives from other students because of his name, but thanks to the ingenuity of his teacher, Miss Trams, the tables are turned. There are four other stories in the book which focus on Zacharia's family life and his close friends, Rebecca and Macca, and his newly acquired dog, Wombat. The stories are entitled: The Pet Party, Sun Sand and Sea, Big Brother, and, Away in a Manger. The stories are amusing and this book would have broad appeal to primary school students in general. The book has both ink sketches and full-colour plates sprinkled throughout with the illustrations by Ann James reflecting the light-hearted nature of the book.  The book was short-listed for the Children's Book Council of Australia.

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