Review Blog

Apr 03 2013

Somewhere in Australia by Marcello Pennacchio

cover image

Ill. by Danny Snell. Scholastic, 2013. ISBN 9781741695229.Hardcover. RRP $24.99.
(Age: 3-6) Themes: Australian Animals - Poetry, Australia -Landscape. There is a popular trend for authors to adapt familiar stories and rhymes for the Australian audience. The picture book starts with 'Somewhere in Australia, in a land of scorching sun, lived a mother kangaroo and her little joey one.' The text by Marcello Pennacchio is loosely based on the classic rhyme Over in the meadow. On each double-page spread we see Australian animals, birds and reptiles undertaking activities in their natural environment. Following the pattern of the classic rhyme one more animal is added to the animal family on the next spread. This is a great book for reading aloud to a young audience although some of the rhyming metre is a little out of kilter.
Danny Snell's painted backgrounds including the outback, spinifex, rainforest and river bring a visual depth to the text. From the mother kangaroo and her joey to the red-back spider and her spiderlings, each creature is beautifully portrayed in natural colours.  
Somewhere in Australia can be used as maths activity - counting or adding up the number of animals represented in the whole story. This could lead into a literacy unit making another book representing the numbers for eleven to fifteen or twenty. In Science students could research and write a report on the animals' life cycles and habitats. For an English lesson, students could use write their own verse modelling the text.
Additional activities can be found in The Standing Orders section of the Scholastic website.
Recommended RA 4-6, Reading Audience 3-6.
Rhyllis Bignell

BUY IT NOW ON booktopia
Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
CBCA shortlists 2017
2017 ABIA longlist
The Stella Prize shortlist for 2017
YA Book Prize 2017 shortlist
Reading Children's book prize shortlist
Indie Book Awards 2017
CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017 shortlist
CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2017 shortlist
School Library Association Information Book Award 2017
2017 UKLA Book Awards shortlists
National Simultaneous Storytime 2017

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2016
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Science fiction and fantasy lists SAETA conference 2015
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Books for boys
Bookmark and poster templates