Sunday, July 17, 2016

Somewhere in Australia by Marcello Pennacchio illustrated by Danny Snell

Do you know this little song?

Over in the meadow in a pond in the sun,
Lived an old mother duck and her little duck one,
Quack said the mother,
Quack said the one,
And they quacked and were happy in their pond in the sun.

Somewhere in Australia is an innovation on this classic text adding a decidedly Australian flavour.

I am making a collection of picture books to read to our youngest classes as we explore the CBCA slogan of 2016

Australia: Story Country

Here is the text for the first verse of this version :

Somewhere in Australia, in a land of scorching sun,
Lived a mother kangaroo and her little joey one.
'Hop,' said the mother. 'I hop,' said the one,
as they hopped over land scorched by the hot sun.

Next we meet two kookaburra chicks, three platypus babies (platy-pups), four Tassie devils, five dingo pups and so on all the way to ten red-back spiders.

Teachers could make excellent use of the verbs in this book :
hop, laugh, swim, growl, howl, slither, bask, run, jump and hunt.

You could also make a list of other Australian animals and write more verses for the song perhaps.

For international readers baby platypus are not called platy-pups - they are called puggles but in this story Marcello Pennacchio needed to maintain his rhyming scheme and I do like the idea of platy-pups.

Danny Snell adds fabulous illustrations to this book.  Take a look at my previous review of his book Seagull.  Jeremy was a popular book during Book Week in 2014.

The final lines of this book match perfectly with our 2016 slogan :

All across Australia, in the dreams of sleepy little ones,
Are sand and sea, bush and desert, the land of the scorching sun.

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