Ratty's Big Adventure
Ratty’s Big Adventure is inspired by discoveries in 2009 of new species of animals and plants at Mount Bosavi in Papua New Guinea. It is into this unique world that Lara Hawthorne brings her lyrical illustrative style and tender narration of the story of Ratty.
Life is good for Ratty, one of the largest creatures living deep within the crater of an extinct volcano in the Southern Highlands. He likes nothing better than taking long naps and feasting on the sweet fruits that fall from the trees. All is well until his pursuit of a tasty morsel high in the canopy above offers a view of the vast rainforest that stretches to the horizon. Convinced everything must be bigger and better in the world beyond his home, and despite warnings from all his friends, Ratty, without a second thought, heads off for a better life. But all does not go to plan. Hawthorne’s exotic colour palette and detailed pattern-like use of line and form beautifully depict the rich tapestry of the world of the rainforest. The framing and flow of her image-making skills imbue the narrative with energy and movement. However, this is no mere cautionary tale. Rather, while acknowledging Ratty’s yearning for the thrill of adventure, we are invited to consider the richness of the life he leaves behind. In revealing how close Ratty comes to losing what he takes for granted, we discover how precious his life and the unique environment around him truly is. And by extension, ours too.