Review Blog

Nov 03 2017

Bouncing bouncing little joeys: a bush Christmas by Lesley Gibbes

cover image

Ill. by Doris Chang. Lothian, 2017. ISBN 9780734417565
(Age: 3+) Themes: Christmas, Rhyming story, Australian animals. Three joeys, the young of a red kangaroo, a wallaby and a numbat, trim their Christmas tree in time for Christmas and the imminent arrival of Santa Claus. Each of the joeys brings along some decorations to add to the tree, eventually standing on each other to put the star on top. They cut up paper to make crafty things and Christmas cards, they bake cake and gingerbread for Santa to eat, they hang their stockings on a line between the eucalypts, make a wreath, sing Christmas carols and hang up the mistletoe. When all is done, they curl up together to have a well deserved sleep.
In rhyming lines the metre is simple and will be easily learnt by the listeners, able to join in as it is read aloud. The simple rhyming allows all children to have a guess at the last word of each refrain, encouraging their participation. The strength of the book lies in its reflection of the customs surrounding Christmas in Australia, encouraging children to talk about what happens in their houses at this time of the year and teaching those new to the country how Christmas is celebrated here.
Fran Knight

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