Kids’ Book Review: Review: Khawaja


Storytelling comes in many forms, and one of them is music.

Paul Kelly is one of Australia’s best known musical storytellers, and one of his recent creations shares the story of Australian cricketer Usman Khawaja

The song has been transformed into a picture book called Khawaja, with words by Paul Kelly and illustrations by Avinash Weerasekera.

Khawaja tells the story of how cricket was Usman’s favourite game as a boy, and how he watched and played it, dreaming of a future playing for his country.

It was a a dream that came true in 2011 when he played a test match in Sydney. When the dream was cut short, Usman focused on state cricket until 2022. Then at 35 years of age, he was recalled to the Australian team and made history when he scored back to back test centuries at the Sydney Cricket Ground. A resounding return.

Avinash Weerasekera’s sleek illustrations pop off the page, transforming the original song to the picture book format. There aren’t a lot of cricket-themed picture books available, so this
will be a welcome addition to inspire budding cricketers, and fun to read and sing along to.

Usman Khawaja’s cricketing journey, as told by Paul Kelly in Khawaja, is a story of patience and practice well worth experiencing.

Listen to Paul Kelly singing Khawaja.

Title: Khawaja

Author: Paul Kelly

Illustrator: Avinash Weerasekera

Publisher: Puffin, $ 19.99

Publication Date: July 2023

Format: Hardcover

ISBN: 9781761340611

For ages:  5+

Type: Picture Book



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