Little Bilby's Aussie Bush Christmas by Yvonne Mes. Illus. by Jody Pratt

cover image

Presented in repetitive rhyming verses, a cluster of little bilbies collects offerings from several other Australian animals to adorn their Christmas Tree.

One verse is repeated, encouraging younger children to recognise and join in when the page is turned, and more particularly join in with the actions described - jumping, tapping and dancing. A new word appears in the repeating verse which adds interest and the format is turned around part way through the book, to add complexity.

The fun of collecting the offerings from the lizard, emu and wombat comes together at the end when the whole group crowd around the decorated Christmas Tree, now adorned with Australian bush flora, and piled beneath with Christmas presents.

An introduction to the coming season, children will love the references to Australian plants and animals, recognise those animals depicted and create their own trees with the instructions given at the end of the book.

The colourful illustrations will keep readers amused as they spot touches of the Australian bush, and recognise the animals shown, and of course, be further intrigued with the tactile cover.

Themes: Australian animals, Australian bush, Humour, Christmas.

Fran Knight