Magabala Books, 2013
5-8yrs, Lower Primary, Primary
AC Links/EYLFEYLF1, EYLF2, EYLF3, EYLF4, EYLF5, ACELT1575, ACELT1783, ACELT1580, ACELT1831, ACSSU002, ACSHE013
EYLF1, EYLF2, EYLF3, EYLF4, EYLF5, ACELT1575, ACELT1783, ACELT1580, ACELT1831, ACSSU002, ACSHE013, ACAVAM106, ACAVAR109, ACELA1453, ACELT1582, ACELT1584, ACHASSK031, ACSSU017, ACSSU211, ACSHE021, ACSHE022, ACELA1462, ACELT1587, ACELT1589, ACELT1591, ACELT1593, ACHASSK051, ACSSU030, ACSHE034, ACSHE035, ACELT1594, ACELT1596, ACELT1599, ACHASSK069, ACSSU044 , ACSHE050, ACAVAM110 , ACAVAR113, ACELA1498, ACELT1602, ACELT1603, ACELT1605, ACHASSK088, ACSSU072, ACSSU073, ACSSU074, ACELA1502, ACELT1608, ACELT1609, ACELT1610, ACELT1612, ACHASSK113, ACSSU043, ACAVAM114, ACAVAR117, ACELA1518, ACELT1613, ACELT1614, ACSSU094
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- Adventure stories
- Desert animals
- Literary devices
- Pilbara area (WA SF50, SF51, SG50)
This picture book is set in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. It opens on a scene of a brown snake emerging in the early morning to sun bake and warm her body so she can hunt. Meanwhile, Cheeky the Spinifex Hopping Mouse, has waited for his family to fall asleep before sneaking back out of their burrow and into the day.
Spinifex mice forage at night, but Cheeky likes to eat during the day too. When he spots the snake he is not scared, he knows she is too cold to move fast, so he starts to taunt her with acrobatic tricks and face pulling. Eventually he gets bored and goes to eat some spinifex seeds. However the snake has not forgotten Cheeky, and suddenly she appears, much to Cheeky's horror. While fleeing the snake he is snatched up by an eagle, but manages to wiggle free. It's a hard fall but Cheeky's troubles are not yet over. By the time he makes it back to the burrow he is a different, chastened mouse.
The illustrations are soft and muted, utilising a palette of the sandy browns and olive greens of the Australian desert. There is plentiful use of white space, blending with the soft edges of the illustrations. Cheeky himself is very animated, his big cartoonish eyes making him very expressive. On the last page there is more information about spinifex hopping mice. Norma MacDonald is descended from the Yamitji and the Nyungar peoples.
- Magabala Books Teacher Notes by Christina Wheeler https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0092/5043/9268/files/Spinifex_Mouse_Teacher_Notes.pdf?2378
- Teacher Notes and Activities Spinifex Mouse https://lamontbooks.com.au/media/19281/Spinifex-Mouse.pdf
- Teacher Notes Spinifex Mouse by by Christina Wheeler http://static.booktopia.com.au/pdf/9781921248801-1.pdf
- Spinifex Hopping Mouse Poster https://www.twinkl.com.au/illustration/spinifex-hopping-mouse
- Spinifex Hopping Mouse Perth Zoo https://perthzoo.wa.gov.au/animal/spinifex-hopping-mouse
- Animal Diversity Web Spinifex Hopping Mouse by B. Lundrigan and K. Pfotenhauer https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Notomys_alexis/