Review Blog

Aug 30 2011

If you're happy and you know it! by P. Crumble and Chris Kennett

cover image

Scholastic, 2011. ISBN 9781741698916.
(Age: 2-5) An Aussie edition of the very familiar song If you're happy and you know it, this book will have children climbing a tree with a possum, digging a hole with a wombat, bouncing around with a wallaby, scratching fleas with a dingo and laughing out loud with a kookaburra. And that's just a few of the Australian animals and their actions!
A good addition for parents and pre-schools, this gives a unique twist to the classic rhyme and provides a lot of fun for youngsters. In fact, if you are sick of singing the traditional rhyme this will be a good alternative! Children are sure to enjoy doing the actions associated with the animals. The book starts with the first verse of the song, and then gives a double page spread for each Australian animal, with the first line of the song on the left hand side and pictures of each additional animal on the right. After the reader gets to 'When you're a koala and you know it, fall asleep', the text shows each of the verses for the animals in a separate box for each one. This means that the book could be used as a story or the teacher/parent could just go the back of the book and find all the rhymes to sing and act out.
The illustrations are cute and will appeal to young children. They are colourful and cartoon like, with human accessories like a bow in the pink possum's hair and glasses on the bandicoot. If the aim of the book were to teach about Australian animals, it would pay to have real photos as well, to compare just what they look like.
The popularity of this song has stood the test of time and this will be a whimsical option when singing it or reading out loud to children.
Pat Pledger

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