Possum magic - Numbers by Mem Fox

cover image

Ill. by Julie Vivas. Scholastic, 2012. ISBN 9781 86291 972 3.
(Ages: 1+) Recommended. Counting book. Australian animals. For the very young, this beautifully produced counting book, using never before seen pictures by Julie Vivas for the award winning Australian classic, Possum magic, will be a treat for all newly arrived children. The strong board book will be used over again in the bedroom, lounge and kitchen, wherever parents and older siblings treat their child to time out with a book. Eventually the children will grab hold of it themselves, immersing their faces in the sweep of recognised characters and the numbers going from 1 to 10.
This does not follow the strict pattern of other counting books, instead making things a little more interesting, with two numbers on the one double page being part of the same picture. So with a picture of nine lamingtons, for example, we also have the number ten included, with ten bites. So the humour will entreat both the listener and the reader, looking for the number of items given in print in the beautifully rendered, familiar illustrations.
Again the well known Australian animals take a bow, adding an extra level of learning for the younger reader, teaching them not only their first ten numbers but also a little about the flora and fauna of this country. Presented are possums, kookaburras, koalas, and an echidna, amongst the gum blossoms. The one sad thing is that it only goes to ten, but parents will be able to dig out their old childhood copy of Possum magic to read and share again with their children.
Fran Knight