Review Blog

Oct 23 2015

The book of Australian animals by Charles Hope

cover image

Wild Dog Books, 2015. ISBN 9781742033891
(Age: 7+) Australian animals, Non fiction. Subtitled A collection of amazing facts about our marvellous wildlife, this will be a winner amongst primary children who love pictures of animals and collecting facts. The book plunges the reader straight into the first major fact about our animals, that Australian has been separated from the rest of the world for millions of years and so is home to quite distinct species not found anywhere else. With this explanation followed by one telling the reader about a mammal, each double page thereafter is devoted to a specific animal, with wonderful illustrations of that animal and a brief text.
A wonderful book to dip in and out of with an expansive index showing the way to get information about animals and a detailed glossary of terms the children will come across, the book lacks a contents page which I found odd, as this directs people to what is inside the inviting covers. Children will learn quickly to use the index critically and so increase their range of research skills.
Each of the three groups of mammals, marsupials, monotremes and placental, is presented after each other, with no main heading to point out that this section has arrived. But that said, the illustrations are amazing, the information presented in an interesting way although I found the circles with different animals from around the world may confuse younger readers. Used with guidance this book will be a useful addition to the school library, and children will love to turn the pages to look at the array of Australian animals unique in the world, and come to some understanding of why they are so different.
Fran Knight

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