Review Blog

May 24 2013

Riley and the jumpy kangaroo: a journey around Canberra by Tania McCartney

cover image

Ill. by Kieron Pratt. Ford St., 2013. ISBN 978 1 92500 02 3.
(Age: 6+) Warmly recommended. Picture book. Cities. Canberra. The fifth in the series of Riley and his zany bunch of animals traveling around major cities will fill a niche in school libraries. With few books about cities on offer to a younger audience this series of books will have appeal for use in the classroom when discussing the city in question or library where younger readers are looking for a picture book about that place. The large pages of photographs showing significant places in the cities mentioned have broad appeal. With the Canberra book, many students will have heard of Parliament House, and seen images of it on television, so to be able to look at it more closely and in a sequence with other significant places in the city, the City Walk, Black Mountain Tower, and the National Botanic Gardens, to name just a few, will intrigue and delight.
That there is a jumpy kangaroo hopping its way around the city will add a further level of interest as they ponder where it might jump next. The students could use a map of the city to trace the kangaroo's way around, or pin point its positions as it hops through Canberra, but whatever is done in the classroom or at home, students will have a better understanding of what makes up a city like Canberra. And what better book for younger readers when they are off to Canberra for their next family holiday.
Fran Knight

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