Review Blog

Nov 02 2011

Ten bush babies by Susan Hall

cover image

Ill. by Naomi Zeuwer. National Library of Australia, 2011. ISBN 9780642277329.
(Age 2-5) Set to the classic rhyme, Ten little ducks went out one day, Susan Hall delivers an Australian version of this ever popular little song. But instead of little ducks going out and about she has 10 Aussie bush babies like the echnida, the wombat, the koala, dingo and so on going about their business. And rather than a Mother Duck calling the children home, Mrs Roo rings her bell.
Children who are familiar with this rhyme, and there will be many, will adore the fact that Australian animals feature in this version.  It starts out with this rhyme which is printed on a lift-up circle:
'10 bush babies went out one day,
Into the sun to jump and play.
Mrs Roo rang ding-ding-ding-ding . . . '
When the circular flap is lifted, the rhyme continues:
'But only 9 bush babies ran in.
Baby wombat went home for a nap.'
On the opposite side of the flap is information about wombats and how long they sleep. This formula is carried on throughout the book, giving children a wonderful opportunity not only to sing a familiar tune, but to find out about animals as well. The left-hand page has all ten animals and Mrs Roo in a red spotted apron, washed in a soft water colour drawing. As an animal roams off, it goes from the main picture and children will enjoy counting the animals and noting which one has left.
Combining the opportunity to learn a new version of a well loved song and the chance to practise counting backwards from 10 to 1, as well as having sturdy flaps for eager fingers, this book should prove to be popular with young children.
Pat Pledger

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