Review Blog

Mar 07 2012

Kangaroos hop by Ros Moriarty

cover image

Ill. by Balarinji. Allen and Unwin, 2012. ISBN 9781742379159.
(Ages: 2+) Highly recommended. Includes Yanyuwa language translation. Picture book.
Kangaroos hop is a colourful and contemporary picture book, with vibrant illustrations and animals which seem to hop, swoop and dance from the pages.
Throughout the story, the reader meets all manner of native creatures, who romp through the book in a colourful and cheerful melee, on their journey down to the river bank. They soon stop short and turn quiet when they see which creature is waiting for them there!
The simple and predictable text is accessible to younger readers because it scaffolds the language by building up the story piece by piece, using cumulative patterns. The layout makes pointing out key punctuation features easy, and phonemic structure of the verbs provides many 'teachable moments' within the book. The addition of the Yanyuwa language translation at the rear of the book gives the reader access to an additional cultural element, and is accompanied by a map, indicating where Yanyuwa is spoken.
The bright illustrations and clear print make this the ideal book for beginning readers to connect with, with plenty of opportunities for educators and parents alike to interact with the text both during reading (which animal do you think we'll see next? Can you remember who was in the group? There was the kangaroo first, then the birds . . . ) and afterwards (Can you hop like a kangaroo? Can you shuffle like an echidna?)
The blurb of the book states that it 'celebrates animals, verbs, and the brilliant art of the Balarinji design studio' and it certainly doesn't disappoint. This book would be an ideal addition to any Indigenous picture book collection, both in school and public libraries, and comes highly recommended.
Freya Lucas

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