Review: Riley and the Dancing Lion

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Many thanks to Vicki Stanton of Buzz Words for kindly allowing publication of this review on my site. Buzz Words, an incredible industry newsletter on children's and young adult literature, is a must-subscribe for anyone interested in children's books. Thanks also to Louise Baker!

Riley and the Dancing Lion is the second book in the Riley travelogue series by Tania McCartney. In this second adventure, Riley travels to Hong Kong, in search of the traditional dancing lion of the Chinese New Year. Having read the first book in the series, in which Riley visited Beijing, I was excited to learn that Tania had released a new book featuring her delightful, adventurous traveller, Riley.

This story introduces the young reader to some magnificent highlights of the city of Hong Kong, from Victoria Harbour, into Kowloon, down the South to Aberdeen and to St Paul’s in Macau. The book features black and white photographs of the city, along with a series of dancing lions; from a rapper, to a ballerina and a highland flinging Scotsman. Kieron Pratt has produced a vast array of colourful illustrations, to complement the photography. The detail of the drawings, featuring highly accessorized lions, is sure to catch the attention of young readers.

The story is well written and the language used is clear and articulate and appropriate to a young age group. The layout is easy to follow with large lettering and plenty of balance between type and illustration.

I particularly liked the last page which features a hand drawn map and shows the reader the places where Riley has travelled. Tania will be releasing the next book in the series in 2010, which will take the reader to Sydney and it would be great to see a map in future years well filled with the travelling adventures of young Riley.

Riley and the Dancing Lion by Tania McCartney, illustrated by Kieron Pratt (Tania McCartney Press, 2009) RRP $16.99

Reviewed by Louise Baker for Buzz Words

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