Review Blog

Apr 08 2013

10 bush babies by Susan Hall

cover image

Ill. by Naomi Zouwer. National Library of Australia, 2013. ISBN 9780642277695.
Board book. Using the long established favourite rhyme and song 5 little ducks as a basis, this story follows the adventures of 10 bush babies, who go out one day, into the sun to jump and play. Mrs Roo rang ding ding ding ding, but only 9 bush babies ran in.
At the bottom of each illustrated page, as the numbers of bush babies drops by the wayside, a clue is given, to assist the young reader in working out who is missing ('Who's missing? Hint: she's gone home for a nap') - in so doing, young readers are encouraged to look carefully at the illustrations, noting all 10/9/8 animals, and seeing which is absent on the next page. Discerning difference is an important pre reading skill, and one which this text ably supports.
The illustrations are beautiful, with the same sprawling gum in the background of each, and the pages, while colourful, are not jarring at all, making this book ideal for any time of day or night.
As with other NLA texts, this book features a recap at the end, with individual boxes reminding the young reader which baby went where - again building those valuable pre reading skills.
The familiar song/rhyme makes the book very accessible to young children, and the fauna would already be familiar to most 3 year olds. This book would make an ideal addition to birth - 3 collections, as well as a wonderful Australiana gift for anyone overseas.
Freya Lucas

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