To the Bridge, The Journey of Lennie and Ginger Mick. Corinne Fenton, illustrated by Andrew McLean, Walker Books, 2020, rrp $26.99, isbn 9781925126822.
Another great picture book by Fenton based on real life characters. This one is about quite a remarkable young bloke by the name of Lennie Gwyther and his pony Ginger Mick.
Lennie was born in 1922 to a farming family in Leongatha, Victoria, Australia. Ginger Mick was born ‘the very same day…’
When Lennie was two he was given the pony and thus began a remarkable bond.
As Lennie grew he and Ginger Mick would collect the newspapers from the train and read about … ‘the news of Australia’s biggest bridge’…being built in Sydney, a place some 600 miles (around 1,000 kilometres) away. Lennie wanted to know all there was about this bridge.
When at the young age of 9 his father had an accident on the farm, Lennie took on the job of a man and worked the farm. When his father recovered he was amazed at all the jobs his son had tackled and offered Lennie a reward. For Lennie it was a trip to Sydney to see the opening of the bridge was all he ever wanted.
And so on 3rd February 1932 Lennie and his pony Ginger Mick took off on an adventure that would take them many weeks.
What they saw and who they met is what the rest of the book is about, along with illustrations that at times need no words to describe the sheer enormity of their journey.
Do they make it to the Sydney Harbour Bridge opening? Don’t go on line to find out but rather read and enjoy this beautiful rendition of a story that captures the heart and mind of both a young boy and a young country.
30th April 2020