An exciting new addition to the narrative non-fiction series Nature Storybooks, about red kangaroos.

Far inland, the sun floats on the waves of a bake-earth day. Big Red and his mob of kangaroos wait for night-time when they can search for food. Young male kangaroos wait too – ready to challenge Red and take his place as leader.


Claire Saxby was born in Melbourne and grew up in Newcastle, NSW where she thought she’d stay until the end of her days. Then, while she was holidaying in Melbourne, Claire’s parents decided to move to Bougainville Island in Papua New Guinea. Fortunately, they waited and took her with them. Since then, she’s lived in more houses than she can remember. Claire is the author of Ebi’s Boat, illustrated by Anne Spudvilas, which was a Children’s Book Council of Australia Notable book in 2007. Her title published with Walker Books Australia in 2010, There Was an Old Sailor, illustrated by Cassandra Allen was short-listed for the Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards 2010, Young Children Category. In 2014, Big Red Kangaroo was a CBCA Notable for the Eve Pownall Award for Information Books and short-listed for the Griffith University Children's Book Award, part of the Queensland Literary Awards.

Born in Sydney sometime last century, Graham Byrne did the usual school and university time, worked as an electrical engineer for years, then went into building houses and structures. The old back injury put paid to hard physical work. An interest in art as a creative adjunct to the practical nature of building led to formal education, work installing artworks at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, and wonderings about other roads to explore. Wanting his art to have some “practical” useful purpose, to be illuminating, pointed Graham to illustration and design pathways. Explorations of drawing, painting, filling sketchbooks, making books for his grandchildren and illustrating short stories have combined to prompt his journey as a book illustrator. Big Red Kangaroo is Graham’s first book. In 2014, it was a CBCA Notable for the Eve Pownall Award for Information Books and also short-listed for the Griffith University Children's Book Award (part of the Queensland Literary Awards) and the CBCA Crichton Award for New Illustrators.


A compelling account, written with sophisticated, descriptive language, and enlightening charcoal and digital media illustrations to match

Boomerang Books Blog

Just three page turns and Byrne’s dramatic charcoal and digital collages propel readers into one night in the life of Red, a large Australian kangaroo.

The Horn Book

The digital and charcoal art is simply stunning, with a smudgy angularity reminiscent of the late Glen Rounds but an immersive, otherworldly earthiness all its own, and both the main text and the secondary explanatory text stand out strongly against the sandy pages.

Bulletin for the Centre of Children’s Books

Everything from the size of this book to the color and style of the artwork evokes the Land Down Under.

School Library Connection

A welcome addition to primary-grade nonfiction collections


a brilliant narrative non fiction book about kangaroos, with superb artwork. The story is very cleverly told in narrative and in non-fiction text.

774 ABC Melbourne Mornings

This book is an innovative addition to the children’s nonfiction genre

Books and Publishing

This is a high quality production and one which should do well in publicising Australia and her unique fauna.

Buzz Word Books

Big Red Kangaroo is a beautifully illustrated picture book that combines narrative and fact to create an accessible introduction to this fascinating creature

Junior Books and Publishing

A delightful text for littles loving to gather as many facts as possible.


The text and illustrations for this book are beautiful.

Deescribe Writing Blog


CBCA Book of the Year Awards, CBCA Award for New Illustrators
Queensland Literary Awards, Griffith University Children’s Book Award
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