Wednesday 23 November 2011

Ten Bush Babies

Ten Bush Babies by Susan Hall,  illustrated by Naomi Zouwer (National Library of Australia)
PB RRP $17.95
ISBN – 978-0-642-27732-9
Reviewed by Emma Cameron

Giving a delightfully Australian twist to the well-known rhyme of Five Little Ducks, this version sees Mother Duck replaced with Mrs Roo, who takes on the role of the bush animals’ teacher. Rather than ducklings wandering out each day, it’s ten bush babies who go out “Into the sun to jump and play.” When Mrs Roo rings her bell, “ding-ding-ding-ding”, one less baby returns each day.

Given that there are ten different babies to begin with, readers will delight in perusing the illustrations to see who failed to return that day. Lifting the flap confirms whether readers are correct. It also reveals that the bush baby hasn’t simply vanished but has, in fact, headed off for a specific purpose, showing readers something about the characteristics and habits of that creature. Written on the back of each flap is also an interesting fact about the animal.

The sing-song rhyme and repetition of refrains are things that children aged two to five will easily latch on to and the lift-the-flap design is most inviting. This well thought out, quality production has fun and lively pastel illustrations of our native animals in their natural habitat. At the very end are duplicates of paintings done by Jon Gould, a naturalist who came to Australia in 1838.

Showcasing our wombat, echidna, koala, possum, bilby, platypus, kangaroo, quoll, dingo and emu, this book is perfect for Australian children, a must for pre-schools, and will make a beaut souvenir for visitors or a unique and special gift for overseas friends and relatives. From counting how many animals are left, to identifying each one, working out which is missing, and learning facts about them, this book gives much to do and is sure to be a favourite.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Buzz Words Books would love to hear what you think.