31 March 2012


Written and Illustrated by Jo Oliver

New Frontier Publishing. Australian, Picture Book. Hardcover RRP $24.95

This book tells the story of a friendship between a young girl and an injured seal she names Tatiara.
The girl wears a back brace and is unable to swim in the ocean. She watches Tatiara, who has come to the quiet waters of the bay to heal. The healing ocean reaches out to include the girl, through her relationship with Tatiara. When her brace is removed, the girl can finally swim in the bay with the seal.
Extensive use of blue and brown brings to life the quiet water of the bay, the waves the whales ride and the sepia tinge of history.
Tatiana is set around the Tathra Wharf, an area I know well. The words and illustrations evoke a wonderfully accurate sense of place. This is a safe haven:
 The wharf shelters from the Great Southern Ocean in the crook of the bay’s arm.
The text also contains a gentle conservation message about whaling, once common in the area:
It’s been forty years since they were hunted here. There were only one hundred left before they were protected.
A truly beautiful book.

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