THE GREAT BULLOCKY RACE by Michael Page

THE GREAT BULLOCKY RACE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A couple of feisty Australians race their bullock-drawn loads of wool 400 miles over rough terrain in order to get to a London-bound ship--the ship has room for only one of their cargoes, but Scotsman Donald and Irish Foxy are most interested in their own rivalry. They agree to rules: a man mustn't be left in trouble in the bush, but the one to do the helping wins an hour's start; and ""if one of the bullockies gets drunk on the way, the other bullocky must wait until he gets over it."" Their crews are more amiable--the dogs make friends chasing dingoes; Donald's daughter Alice teaches Foxy's son Wally how to cook, and the two are soon planning to share a bullock wagon when they grow up; the bullocks graze peaceably together at night. And when the Dads, predictably, happen on a convivial gathering the last day, the kids leave them and go side by side to port--where both loads are needed after all. Ingpen brings frontier Australia wonderfully to life in a series of detailed panoramic paintings and more intimate views. The exotic setting adds spice to a well-told, comic tale, appropriate for young readers or for reading aloud--one of several recent stories to dramatize the value of cooperation in the midst of competition.

Pub Date: April 11th, 1988
Page count: 55pp
Publisher: Dodd, Mead