To the Bridge: The Journey of Lennie and Ginger Mick; Corinne Fenton, illustrated by Andrew McLean
To the Bridge is a fabulous picture book that tells the incredible true story of Lennie and his horse Ginger Mick. Together, the duo travelled six hundred miles from Victoria to New South Wales so that Lennie could see the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1932.
Lennie and his horse Ginger Mick live in the country, Leongatha to be precise. Lennie is fascinated by the building of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and keenly follows its progress by reading the newspaper. Lennie wishes he could be there to see the opening of the bridge and when his father injures himself and Lennie is left to run the farm he has the opportunity to prove himself to his father. And when his father returns to the farm and mentions that he deserves a reward for his work, Lennie knows exactly what he would like…
This is an incredible story of determination, resilience and trust. Lennie and Ginger Mick rode through bushfires, snowy mountains and battled the elements but as long as they had each other they knew they would make it. They were welcomed by strangers and received regular offers of hospitality from home-owners and hotels - all this at a time when Australia was reeling in the Great Depression. Whilst people may have been struggling financially, kindness and generosity remained strong as Lennie and Ginger Mick were met with friendly faces and warm welcomes wherever they went.
It is important that I mention that at the time of undertaking this most incredible of journey’s, Lennie was nine. Yes, nine-years-old and he got on his horse and headed off on a six hundred mile (one-thousand kilometre) journey from his home to see a bridge that he had only read about in the newspaper. Remember, this journey was done at a time before iPhones and Google maps; it was simply a boy, his horse and a big dose of trust and determination.
The text is accompanied by watercolour illustrations by Andrew McLean that bring alive the landscapes and scenery and allow the reader to experience parts of the journey for themselves.
A book full of courage, determination and of making dreams come true.
Recommended for 5+.
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