At a Glance

Title: Australia at the Beach

Author: Max Fatchen

Illustrator: Tom Jellett

Publication Year: 1999

Page Count: 33


Come on a journey, an Australian journey— the quintessential family trip to the beach. Jam packed with Aussie icons, Australia at the Beach is a great summer read for all ages.

The sunlit beach is shining.

It stretches far and wide

And here the quiet sea will spread

Its tablecloth of tide.

Captivating readers young and not-so-young, Australia at the Beach is a delightful ballad about the chaos of a family trip to the beach. The story features some favourite Aussie icons whilst representing the diverse make-up of Australians.

Australia at the Beach


The true-to-life depiction of one of Australia’s favourite outings is testament to the poetic prowess of celebrated journalist and children’s author, the late Max Fatchen. With end rhymes that draw in the reader, the cadence of Australia at the Beach is pleasantly fast and will have you reading with a beat all the way to the end.

A small boy is exploring,

With poking spade he goes

To squelch among the sandbars

With cockle-tickled toes.

Children of all ages will enjoy the ‘story beyond the story’ with Tom Jellett’s dynamic watercolour illustrations. There is something new to find each read. Can you spot the esky, flap hat, boogie board and ‘budgie smugglers’? How about the classic coat hanger car aerial? Or simply follow the visual adventures of calamitous younger brother, William for a good laugh.

And in case you were wondering how to get an ice-cream if you are a dog, the hilarious procedural insets scattered through Australia at the Beach will show you how.