The Great Lizard Trek


Hardback - August 2018 - AU $24.99

eBook - August 2018 - eRetailers

Trek through country with Rocky and his lizard relatives in search for a cooler habitat.

Rocky, an ornate dragon, lives on granite rocks in the south-west of Australia. But further north, where it is getting hotter and wetter, his desert relatives are having trouble with their eggs. As the lizards trek through country in search of a new home, Rocky shares local Indigenous and Western understanding of these changing environments and the animals that live in them. + Full description

Written by Felicity Bradshaw AM, a retired Research Officer at University of Western Australia, and illustrated by Norma MacDonald, an Aboriginal Yamatji artist, The Great Lizard Trek will delight, entertain and inform children.

Reading level varies from child to child, but we recommend this book for ages 6-9.

Notable Book, The CBCA Eve Pownall Award for Information Books 2019
Shortlisted, The Wilderness Society’s Environment Award for Children’s Literature 2019: Picture Fiction
Recipient, 2019 Whitley Awards Certificate of Commendation: Children's Book

- Short description


"The Great Lizard Trek is a beautiful and intimate depiction of a group of animals from outback Australia. The melding of indigenous and western language is superbly undertaken; informative in storybook format and so engaging to read. This book is a remarkable coming together of art, science and knowledge of the land. The illustrations by Norma MacDonald, an Aboriginal Yamatji artist, are quite breathtaking with their heated landscapes and rocky outcrops."
Jennifer Mors, CBCA Reading Time blog, 18 November 2018

"The Great Lizard Trek is a book you can read in one sitting or one you can take your time with, drawing on information, flipping to the maps included at the back and the from of the books and doing a bit of your own extra research. The story is engaging, as are the lizard characters we meet. The dialogue between the characters adds lots of fun to these reptiles that often get ignored! Norma MacDonald’s illustrations are highly detailed and the background for each lizard is a reminder of where they live and the conditions they live in."
Vanessa Rendall, Educate.Empower. blog, 16/7/18

"The Great Lizard Trek is a comprehensive and well-designed book, told from the point of view of an ornate dragon called Rocky... My favourite moment in the book is when 'The Great Lizard Trek' begins. It's the journey of numerous different lizards, all working together to travel from Miriwoong country in the north of Western Australia to Wadjari country further south. It's connected to the problem of climate change, as the lizards have to leave their home because it's too hot." 4.5 stars
Cora Masterson, reader reviewer, Double Helix magazine, September 2018

"The unmistakeable first impression of this publication is of the magnificent colour illustrations throughout by Norma MacDonald, an Aboriginal Yamatji artist... This book will no doubt be a welcome addition to many school libraries."
John McGrath, iHerp Australia magazine, November/December 2018


Hardback | August 2018 | $ 24.99
ISBN: 9781486308828 | 32 pages | 220 x 318 mm
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Colour illustrations

ePDF | August 2018
ISBN: 9781486308835
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Available from eRetailers


  • A timely introduction for children to some of the potential effects of climate change on Australia's animals
  • Beautiful illustrations by Norma MacDonald, renowned Aboriginal Yamatji artist
  • Interweaves Indigenous language and culture with Western science


Felicity Bradshaw AM has wide experience in field and laboratory research into Western Australian native animals and in 2019 she was awarded Member of the Order of Australia for services to biological sciences and education. Felicity authored and self-published the children’s story A Tale of Two Honey Possums. Now retired, Felicity has written a Biological Science Resource for Primary School children (Be a Bush Scientist, published by the Centre for Learning Technology, UWA) that takes children through the steps required for scientific analysis of the natural environment. Felicity is also involved with CSIRO’s Science Pathways for Indigenous Communities program in WA, writing science resources for classrooms that will complement Learning on Country activities.

Norma MacDonald is an Aboriginal Yamatji artist whose works feature in government and private collections throughout Australia and overseas. Norma is passionate about presenting her culture to young children; she does this with the aid of her art, her artifacts and her recounting of Aboriginal stories. Norma wrote and illustrated the children’s book Spinifex Mouse (published by Magabala Books).

For Teachers

We have created these Teacher Notes as a free PDF download to support the use of this book in the classroom.

Teacher Notes (584.59 KB)