‘Bush Mob Counting’ is an interactive and playful way for young children to learn how to count to 10. This colourful board book employs well known Australian animals to build counting skills. There are several components to the simple text. Firstly, it counts the animals one to ten. Over the sequence of the book, it provides an overview of a full day and what each animal might be doing, from the one quoll going to sleep at dawn to the 10 willy wagtails singing their night song.
The author skilfully uses rhyming couplets to describe each animal and their actions during the day. The descriptive rhythmic language makes it an excellent read aloud book. There are also some challenging words to savour such as ‘forage’ and ‘prepare’. The counting component provides opportunities for children to engage with the story and participate in reading the text. The brightly coloured double page spreads and clear, easily identifiable animal illustrations provide opportunities for children to identify these animals. The digital illustrations feature the animals against various patterns and motifs with large blocks of bright colours, which provide opportunities to discuss colours and patterns. Milroy’s ‘Tales from the Bush Mob’ series, for primary aged children, features these same animals.
Helen Milroy is both a storyteller and talented artist. She is a descendant of the Palyku people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia but was born and educated in Perth.
Series title: ‘Tales from the Bush Mob’ series