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Saxby, Claire (text) Graham Byrne (illus.): Big Red Kangaroo.

** SAXBY, Claire (text) Graham Byrne (illus.) Big Red Kangaroo Walker (Nature Storybooks), 2013 30pp $27.95 ISBN 9781921720420 SCIS 1619663


Picture story books about the Australian kangaroos have a long and distinguished history and kangaroos have long been part of the literature for children in this country. Children all over the world identify kangaroos with Australia, and this new large format picture book, joins this tradition. It brings vividly to life in picture and text, one night in the everyday life of the biggest member of the macropod family, the red kangaroos.

Big Red Kangaroo is shown stirring after a hot day in the far inland of Australia and with his mob of females and joeys feeding in the cooler dusk A storm comes and they join other kangaroos in shelter. They move out after the storm drinking from the rain pools and head away to a grassy depression to graze. When other mobs arrive, Red has to fight off a young challenger. Morning brings Red and his mob back to the shade of the trees.

The two-page spreads offer minimal but quite memorable story lines accompanied by the digitally produced yellows and browns of the kangaroos and other animals and then the semi-desert settings at night with bold charcoal shadings. Each of the story lines is matched on the right-page with related brief factual comments in italics. The book concludes with a page of more general background information on the red kangaroos, and there is an index of terms and concepts. This book would be a valuable source of information for new young readers 5 to 8 and for story-telling to them and can deepen their knowledge and understanding of our great iconic animal--a book to treasure.

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Author:Adams, John D.
Publication:Reading Time
Article Type:Book review
Date:Nov 1, 2013
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