Daisy Sunshine is filled with the 1970s with its freedoms and joyous chararcters, underpinned by the real issue of the rights of girls and women to have equal opportunity.
In a rare book, Daisy Sunshine makes the second rise of feminism relevant to young people today.
Daisy Sunshine by Susanne Gervay, illustrated by Teresa Culkin-Lawrence
(National Museum of Australia) PB RRP $11.95
Reviewed by Hazel Edwards
International Women’s Day seems an appropriate time to review
‘Daisy Sunshine’ which in a fun way explores historic ways to encourage
girls to try, regardless. It provides a great role model in the aptly
named and feisty, Daisy Sunshine.
Susanne Gervay was handed the 1970s t-shirt from the National Museum's
collection with SUPER WOMAN written across it. The brief was: 'Create a
story using this t-shirt so that kids 8-12 understand Feminism'.
Abstractions are hard to write. So Susanne Gervay has made it
personal, in a way in which readers can identify, via the involving
character of Daisy and her mother. Roles are reversed. The daughter
encourages the hard working mother and so younger readers will relate.
Illustrator Teresa Culkin-Lawrence’s colourful cover and inside
illustrations have captured the details of the 1970s period.
Making Tracks is an important series, where items from the
Museum’s Collection are featured in stories commissioned from well known
authors and indirectly whole periods of history are made accessible by
today’s young readers.
Daisy Sunshine successfully evokes the 1970s feminism, but other books
have evoked goldfields, bushfires, Antarctic expeditions, bushrangers
and convict labouring.
Maybe this whole series, which has excellent notes and resources on the
Museum site, should be re-introduced in an audio format or across other
doco multi-mediums? After all, Daisy Sunshine has songs within her
book. Then mothers and daughter (and sons) can listen en route to
school or work? And the entire series would make great kids’ TV.
There are excellent teacher resources on the author website
http://www.sgervay.com/books/daisy sunshine.php The book is highly