This board book, produced by the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, will immediately engage young children, encouraging them to get up and perform the actions of the various Australian animals encountered on each page. Children are drawn into the story, with questions such as “Can you run, run, run like a zippy dingo?” and “Can you kick your leg like a grumpy emu?”
Books published by the Indigenous Literacy Foundation are designed to encourage understanding of Indigenous culture and community life, and this book is perfect for a caregiver to share with a young child, to encourage literacy, counting and movement skills. This is also the perfect book to share in a group story time setting, to engage a group of young children and demonstrate that stories can be fun and encourage physical activity.
Children will enjoy counting the animals on each page and identifying colours, and will delight in the rollicking text which encourages physical movement and participation. The descriptive use of language and action vocabulary is designed to encourage the beginnings of a lifelong love of literacy and sharing of stories.
The illustrations by Kathy Arbon show movement and soft colour as the animals run, dance and fly across the pages. This book could be used as a platform in an early learning or home setting to explore the characteristics of Australian animals (such as animal habitats and movement) and may encourage children to use their voices and bodies to demonstrate the unique noises and movements of these familiar Australian animals. Additionally, the animals in this book exhibit various emotions, associating these emotions with movement, and may prove useful in inspiring conversation about different emotions (such as silly, scary, happy, grumpy) and how they might be portrayed.
The last page of this book encourages young readers to participate in all the movements at once, ending the story session on a high energy note!
Sally Morgan belongs to the Palyku people from the eastern Pilbara region of Western Australia.
Arabana artist Kathy Arbon is an Indigenous academic support lecturer based in the Northern Territory.