Desert Lake by Pamela Freeman and Liz Anelli

Book cover for Desert Lake by Pamela Freeman and Liz Anelli

Desert Lake Pamela Freeman and Liz Anelli (Walker Books Australia)

Judges' Comments

Desert Lake uncovers an astounding story of nature: the changing environment of Australia’s largest salt lake, Kati Thanda — Lake Eyre — from desert to lake and back again. The text focuses on the creatures that live below the salt crust as well as the animals and birds that live above ground.

Skillfully crafted by author Pamela Freeman, this picture book is exemplary non-fiction, with both literary and information texts. Liz Anelli’s well-composed and textured illustrations use mixed media and a variety of lines and shading techniques, which contrast warm desert colours with the cool colours of the lake. Details of insects, animals and birds add interest as children discover them on the page. In exploring animal and plant life, the water cycle, bird migration, and dormancy and growth, Desert Lake is a work of art that shares a unique Australian natural landmark with young readers.