Review Blog

Nov 13 2012

The down-under 12 days of Christmas by Michael Salmon

cover image

Ford St. 2012. ISBN 978 1 921665 60 8.
(Ages 5+) Christmas, Picture book. A brightly coloured and infectiously rhyming remake of the old favourite, The 12 days of Christmas, will encourage all comers to join in the fun of reading this book, whether read as a story, a poem, or joining in with the music which is easily accessible on Google (well, with a bit of searching around. There is an Australian version on Youtube which is hard to listen to, but  has the music and several Australian versions listed which can be listened to)
Each page has a range of different Australian animals depicted, with the refrain gathering a kookaburra, snakes, galahs, lyrebirds, kangaroos, sharks, emus, dingoes, crocs, wombats, lizards, and possums as the presents for the narrator. Students will love the build up of animals as shown on the right hand side of the page as the cumulative number of animals is revealed, s well as closely perusing each page to see what else s there. There are a number of versions of this song around, so it would be a good opportunity to look at the original and compare it with the other versions. Many students will love to find out more about some o the animals they know little about, ponder about the setting for each group of animals, and possibly suggest others that could have been included. Discussion about rhyme and metre will also flow from using this song and book in the classroom.
Fran Knight

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