Review Blog

Apr 10 2011

Town possum, outback possum by Yvonne Morrison and Heath Mackenzie

cover image

Little Hare Books, 2011. ISBN 9781921541476.
Picture book. Jacko the possum loves the outback, his life in the treetops is all he wants it to be. He looks out from his eucalypt, over the trees and hills beyond, thinking that he is in a special place. But his reverie is interrupted by his city cousin, Jessie, come to entice him away to visit her place. Once there, he finds that things are not all that Jessie told him. Trying to get some food, he interrupts a diner in a restaurant and is bundled out of there very quickly, Jessie taking him to the bins at the back. Hitching a ride on a bus, they are frightened by a dog snarling and snapping a their heels. Curling up to sleep under a roof, Jacko longs for his home in his cosy tree. He is wakened by a screeching noise, but Jessie explains that it is just some children watching TV. All in all, Jacko cannot wait to return from his trip to the city, and so he does, getting back to his trees, the lovely view and a kookaburra laughing in the trees.
A charming story of finding your own place, the verse will help younger readers recognise new words and predict what the next lines will be. Teachers will be able to use this book for a variety of lessons, be it poetry, conservation or simply a theme of finding a home. Apart from being just a charming verse story to read to the class, it would make an excellent introductory book to begin a unit of work on conservation or Australian animals, or simply a lesson on possums. Students may look out for possums in their area as a result of reading this story.
Fran Knight

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