Close, appreciative attention to the Aborigines, to the distinctive flora and fauna and to the changing economic base marks this offering by an experienced juvenile author who is Australian by adoption. As a result, the volume is somewhat more solid than others in this series and useful as a supplement to accounts which feature history, folkways or politics more prominently. Also discussed at some length, and in connection with conflicts between agricultural and urban interests, is the fundamental problem of irrigation, with mention of operative and projected schemes. The major cities are briefly characterized along with life in city and country generally; that the former tends increasingly to predominate is a valuable point contra the stereotype. But the author's chief interest is in conservation (particularly of the Aborigines and the native plant species) and growth and the balance between.