The vastness, the isolation and the uniqueness of Australia's landscape lends itself to many practical problems to be solved - not least how people managed to get their mail, arm chairs, and petrol supplies into their homes!
Tom the Outback Mailman provides a glimpse into the not so distant past, telling the story of one particular man who solved that problem for countless people, including how he approached a particular soggy problem!
Tom was the outback mailman who travelled the Birdsville track from 1936 until 1963. The 2,500 kilometre round trip made it the longest mail run in the world ... now that's alot of kms to be covered!
With a great splash of wit and charm Kristen Weidenbach tells the tale of this man's adventures, including the people he met along the way.
The adventures really start on the day rain fell ... in the outback! Tom was stranded, and had to come up with a more inventive way to get the supplies to his customers.
Timothy Ide's illustrations are lively and bright, bringing this character to life for a modern audience.
The timeline at the end of this picture book gives great depth to this historical tale.
Tom the Outback Mailman has been shortlist for CBCA 2013 awards, you can view the other shortlisted titles here.
A link to the teachers' guide, produced by Hatchette, is here.
Kirsten Weidenbach's novel Mailman of the Birdsville Track (The Story of Tom Kruse) is also available here.