Down-under The 12 days of Christmas by Michael Salmon
Ford Street Publishing, 2012. Pbk., RRP $A12.95. ISBN
On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . . no, not a partridge in a pear tree. But a kookaburra in a gum tree!
In this quirky re-release of Michael Salmon's version of the traditional Christmas song, Santa has landed in Australia's outback and is checking his list. Although the kangaroos are in charge of the presents, their koala helpers are not helping very much at all. Are six sharks a-surfing and seven emus laying really what someone wants to find under their tree - or anywhere?
Most of us are familiar with the bright, colourful illustrations that are a signature of Michael Salmon's work and from the cover to the final page which is a blackline master to be photocopied and coloured in, they just delight the readers and put a smile on their faces. Not only is the original song one of timeless tradition, but this book is one of timeless quality which will bring joy to yet another generation of little ones.
With ski-ing snakes and dancing dingoes, they are introduced to some of Australia's most iconic creatures in situations beyond their normal bush habitats and daily habits. And of course, the whole just begs to be the basis of an improvisation that lets the students demonstrate their knowledge of our fauna and alliteration. Imagine eleven echidnas eating . . . Christmas Day in Australia IS very different from all those snow-covered Christmas card scenes we seem to still hang on to, and this classic proves it!
If your library copy from way back when is tired and over-loved, this is the opportunity to renew it with a sparkling new version. And don't forget to introduce the children to the fun and games available in the cave at www.michaelsalmon.com.au