Santa's Aussie mix-up by Colin Buchanan
Ill. by Simon Swingler. Scholastic Australia. 2011 ISBN 9781 74283
(Ages: 4-7) Picture book. Christmas. When Santa comes to Australia to deliver his presents, he finds that he needs the help of an Australian animal to deliver them all. But which animal can he chose? He must test them all to find one that is suitable. Each animal in its turn tries the test, but none of them is up to the task. The Tasmanian Devil wraps up the wallabies, the platypus slips and falls in the wombat hole, the kangaroo smashes the presents with its hopping and the emu trips. The kangaroo an emu begin to argue over which animal is the best, and Santa then takes the middle road and has emu and kangaroo deliver the gifts, despite their shortcomings. The children receive their presents even though this year they are a little worse for wear.
A pleasing little tale told in rhyme will have the readers predicting what is going to happen to each animal, and recognising each Australian animal as it appears. They will find much to laugh at with the animal antics, and will find more humour in the brightly executed illustrations which cover each page.
A parody of Advance Australia Fair, the students will recognise the similarities once the story is begun and start to sing along as it is read. A CD accompanies the book adding another layer of enjoyment for the reader and listener at Christmas time.