On the way to Nana’s by Frances and Lindsay Haji-Ali.

On the way to Nana’s is another fantastic book published by Magabala books and written by Frances and Lindsay Haji-Ali and illustrated by David Hardy.

Have you ever been on a road trip that was around 1000km long? Frances and Lindsay Haji-Ali have – with four children as well!

On the way to Nana’s house is a vividly illustrated counting book that incorporates magnificent Australian scenery through the eyes of a small child on a long journey through the top end of Australia. As soon as the first page is opened your senses are filled with warm, fresh air, adventure and a visual delight!  Counting from 15-1 the reader hops into the car alongside the family and visits waterfalls, termite mounds, outback schools, wildlife and the ever changing landscape.

As children read this story they are introduced to the concept of counting backwards from 15-1 through the road signs and the different amounts of objects on the page. The concept of counting backwards can be quite difficult but this book brings this to life in a fantastic mix through numbers, words and illustrations.


I’m on the way to Nana’s house. What will I see?


David Hardy’s illustrations are striking as he musters up pigments that truly remind any outback adventurer of the red hue of the desert, the contrast of a storm against the red mountains and the vivid blue of the fresh running waterfalls.

The trip from Broome to Wyndham is on our to do list after spending some time around Broome many years ago and after reading this book I am inspired to start thinking more seriously about when we can take some time to make the journey – perhaps taking at least a week or two!

This book is a must for anyone embarking on a long road trip as not only will it entertain it will also teach the young reader!


So how else can you use this book at home?


  • Take out the map of Australia and find out where these places are.
  • Where could you drive from your house in 1000km?
  • Learn more about the town’s along this pathway and how people live in these remote places.
  • Practise counting backwards from bigger numbers – create some extra pages in the book so you can count from 20 after learning more about the area.






  1. Magabala Books publish some wonderful books. This one looks lovely. I like books that give an appreciation for the richness and diversity of our land and its people.


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