‘Count on Country’ is a counting book in English with Jirrbal language words for the featured animals and the numbers one to 10. This well-designed book immediately captures attention with its large landscape format, which would work well as a read aloud shared experience with a small group. The actions on each page and the one long rhyming sentence creates a chanting song-like feel that invites participation.
The artwork on the left features active animals set against their particular landscape while the text opposite counts the featured animals one to ten. The solid backgrounds behind the text on the right feature dark, strong colours with the large-sized text easily standing out. Animals are invariably featured in action, such as ‘two lucky herons flying out of reach’ (of the alligator below). Creatures include pelicans, cassowaries, herons, dingo pups, black cockatoos, barra fish, Ulysses butterflies, pythons, crocodiles and pelicans. The finale page sees a jumping young boy surrounded by 10 biting green ants shouting, ’Ten biting ants – I don’t want any more!’
Pam Galeano was born in Atherton, north Queensland. She has published five picture books about the Cassowary Coast animals. Girrbal Edler Uncle Ernie Grant shared his tribal language for this book. Dorothy Webster is a descendant of the Barbarrum people. She paints under the name of ‘Mirrimum.’ The bright colours used in her paintings are a reflection of the tropical surroundings where she lives.
Series : Cassowary Coast, no 1