Matt Staggs mentioned a classic book in his blog that I remember from my childhood, namely The Bunyip of Berkeley’s Creek by Jenny Wagner and Ron Brooks. I was obsessed with it around age 4-5, probably because of the incredibly evocative and powerful (and somewhat dark and frightening) images. I was a bit scared of some of the pictures but at the same time fascinated. I also remember being particularly taken with the scene when the Bunyip finds a comfy spot by the billabong at night. The walk through the woods and his camp-fire and kettle seemed to capture something wild yet cosy and I recall staring at the images for ages. The scene towards the end of Spirited Away with the hopping lantern has a similar quality.

In one of her guest posts on Ecstatic Days, Michelle Richmond mentioned those books that we read over and over again. At the time I responded with A Wizard of Earthsea, which is something I still re-read, but The Bunyip probably beats it, and most other books I’ve read, in terms of simple frequency, though I guess strictly speaking it was read to me (and incidentally was one of the books my mother did not get tired of reading aloud). Asterix and Tintin might follow close behind as I’ve read them over and over without going off them.

I wish I had a copy of the book here to read to my daughter (now 2). At present her favourite is Mama Do You Love Me? by Barbara M Joosse and Barbara Lavalee, which I just now read to her before putting her to bed. She’s seen The Bunyip but is probably too young for it so I’ll have to order a copy.

Unfortunately, Amazon US lists The Bunyip as out of print (though it is available from sellers). There isn’t an Amazon Australia, at least not in the sense of the North American webstore. In fact, the trade/domain name seems to belong to a manufacturer of washer-dryer stands down under.

From the site:

Welcome to Amazon Australia.

Your exclusive supplier of innovative laundry solutions. Our unique washer and dryer stand is your answer to a safer, far more ergonomic laundry set up. It can be fitted to any existing machine, and offers more storage without taking up space.

Amazon Australia currently supplies this universally applicable product to every major electrical retailer nationally, and we will soon be supplying sellers worldwide.

It sounds eminently useful, but quite what all this has to do with Bunyips or postage stamps is anybody’s guess. I think I might go and watch some TV.