Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Koalas, Kites and Kangaroos

Koalas, Kites and Kangaroos by David Ridyard, illustrations by Doreen Gristwood (Scholastic Australia)
PB RRP $15.99
ISBN 978-1-74283-872-4
Reviewed by Jenny Heslop

Koalas, Kites and Kangaroos is a beautifully simple alphabet book for the very young. With only a few words on each page, children can find pictures to match in the softly painted pages, filled with Australian animals having fun.

The illustrations are beautiful. Their gentle nature encourages slow contemplation. Each illustration is a complete scene which highlights two letters of the alphabet. Parts of these pictures spill out over the constructed borders which hold the words - they cannot be contained - bringing the animals to life. There are a few extra pictures to be spotted on some pages (there is a list at the end of the story), but these are kept to a minimum and the book is not overwhelming for young children.

The words chosen to illustrate each letter are ones which can be easily understood and visualised by young children, moon, vegemite, footprint, quilt, and are printed in large clear writing.

Subtitled An Australian Alphabet Book, Koalas, Kites and Kangaroos is thoughtfully and attractively laid out. There is a verse filled with really fun alliteration at the start, enticing the reader to begin the alphabet journey. Then another to close the book which creates a sense of completion (even though it invites the reader to look at the pages again) which alphabet books rarely do.

Koalas, Kites and Kangaroos is a very enjoyable alphabet book.

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