The twelve days of Aussie Christmas by Colin Buchanan
Ill. by Glen Singleton. Scholastic, 2012. ISBN 9781 74283 367
(Ages 4+) Picture book, Christmas. The familiar Christmas Carol, The twelve days of Christmas, is here reprised with an Australian flavour, using iconic characters and animals to build up the fun of the twelve days. Children familiar with the carol will get the point immediately, but others may have to have it played a few times, and perhaps compared with the original to understand it more completely. All in all, though, it is good fun and enticing to small children who love rhyme, reading aloud, learning new songs and reading along with others. The repetition of the song builds as it goes along and makes it an easy one to learn. The accompanying CD will be put to good use in the classroom and at home.
Each day is represented by a different Australian image, starting with one platypus up the gum tree, then two jackaroos, three meat trays, four footy fans, five rusty utes, six snags, seven chooks, eight jumbucks, nine dingoes, ten swaggies, eleven cricket legends and twelve surfing Santas. Alliteration is used profusely helping the words to stay in the mind, and the stress on Australian slang, makes this a useful tool to talk about words and their meanings. For an overseas audience a different level of language education can be pursued.
On each page is hidden, well almost, a number of Australian animals for the children to look for, so that by the end of the book, there are 150 items to be found, adding yet another level of fun at Christmas time.