We have been lucky enough to own all four Geography Readers for many years, but it was only in the English autumn of 2018 that I, Clarissa, read them. I had not really expected to enjoy them, thinking they would be dull and with very poor photographs. But I really enjoyed them! Without a doubt, Quintette in Queensland is my favourite, followed closely by Bess on Her Own in Canada.
A Quintette in Queensland sees two children come to stay with a family who live on a sugar plantation. By the end of the book, we know exactly how sugar was then produced (and a fascinating process is described). But, as with the other books, there is also a story and what the children get up to makes for very enjoyable reading. Adrianne Fitzpatrick, who grew up in Queensland, will be writing an introduction in which she will show that, far from being un-realistic, this story shows life as it really was in Queensland in the mid 1950s.
Verena Visits New Zealand tells of an English girl sent to recuperate after an illness, staying with relatives who live on a sheep farm in the South Island. During her stay she visits some of the country’s tourist attractions and, most importantly, learns what a wonderful country New Zealand is and what it can do for families coming out from the UK. Rose Stevenson will be writing the introduction to this story. She knows all the places in the book very well, and lived in Rotura for 20 years. She also says not to judge the book by its cover.
The Geography Readers (Volume One) Quintette and Verena was published on 16 August 2019.