Review Blog

Aug 09 2013

Koalas, kites and kangaroos: An Australian alphabet book by David Ridyard

cover image

Ill. by Doreen Gristwood. Scholastic Australia, 2013. ISBN: 9781742838724.
(Age: 4+) Picture book. Australian animals. Alphabet book. Koalas, Kites and Kangaroos was originally published in 1985 and this reprinting introduces a new generation to this loved picture book. The verse that starts the reader on their 'look and find' journey invites us to:
Turn over the pages and take a close look
At this wonderful, colourful ALPHABET BOOK!
The search is on for animals and objects from A to Z within each double page spread. Doreen Gristwood's pastel watercolours and simple backgrounds are still engaging with the new audience after twenty-eight years. We search for ants at Ayers Rock, enjoy kangaroos having fun roller-skating and end with the obvious but non-Aussie zebras at the zoo. There is also a list of words at the back of additional objects and animals to look for.
This is a direct reprinting that does bring up a few issues. Ayers Rock could have been changed to Uluru and the discerning reader may question why some of the animals are on the wrong page. Why are the penguins partying on the I-J pages?
This is a classic Australian picture book suited to share with a young audience from 2 years of age and beginning readers from 4-6 years.
Rhyllis Bignell

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