Found in Sydney by Joanne O’Callaghan

Reviewed by Gail McDonald

What a great counting book this is.

There are many aspects of the book which are really fresh and educational for young children starting with the Acknowledgement of Country at the front of the book written in Dharug language with the English meaning below. This introduces young people to the fact that Australia has this important history which has the opportunity for the reader to engage in a wonderful discussion with the child.

This is also followed by a map of Dharug Country with the nearby clans noted on the map.

As the reader turns the pages to each numeric page, the book identifies special places which are so Sydney – Circular Quay, Taronga Zoo, Manly Beach and Sydney Harbour just to name a few.

What I love about this book is that normally a children’s counting book concludes at ten, this book continues to twelve.  And then the author and illustrator introduce a bigger concept – that of a hundred buildings, a thousand gum trees where the Blue Mountains are, and a million tiles on the Sydney Opera House.

The author Joanne O’Callaghan has written a three other books with two of them, The Swimmers and Found in Hong Kong, illustrated by Kori Song.

Joanne then wrote Found in Melbourne in 2018, following her move to Melbourne, which was shortlisted for the Speech Pathology Awards.

Kori Song’s illustration of this book Found in Sydney is a wonderful depiction of the wonders of this great Australian city. Kori has previously illustrated The Swimmers, Found in Hong Kong and found in Melbourne. Her artwork has been short-listed for the World Illustration Awards 2022 and selected for the Illustrator Exhibition of Bologna Children’s Book Fair 2020.

This is a fabulous book for young children and should be a joy for the reader as well.

Found in Sydney: A Counting Adventure

by Joanne O’Callaghan; Illustrated by Kori Song


Allen and Unwin

ISBN 978 176052 624 5

$24.99; 36pp


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