Animals in My Garden written and illustrated by Bronwyn Houston (Magabala Books) HB RRP $9.99 ISBN 9781925360448
Reviewed by Brook Tayla
In this board book readers are introduced to counting from one to ten in numbers and words with corresponding pictures and names of Australian animals.
The front cover is appealing with a selection of animals amidst fauna, but it is upon turning the first page that you are really drawn into a very tactile and engaging counting adventure.
Bronwyn Houston’s illustrations lure you to touch the pictures: I have run my finger along the snake on page one many times (and I don’t like snakes!) She presents semi-camouflaged animal groups of various sizes, against very bright garden backdrops, which works really well. It encourages touching, pointing and finding the right amount of animals. It is the interplay of these techniques that encourages learning and makes it fun at the same time.
The first thing I noticed about this board book was its design. The size is perfect and it is light - yet sturdy enough for the repeated and rough use associated with very beginner readers.
This board book is suitable from birth to pre-school level and I can see it being read over and over again. It would appeal to all children in this age bracket and be a favourite with parents, early childhood carers and kindergarten teachers.
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