Willie spied a wallaby hopping through the fern –
Here a jump, here a thump, there a sudden turn.
Willie called the wallaby, begging him to stop,
But he went among the wattles with a
FLOP! (CJ Dennis)
CJ Dennis is just one of the well-known names whose work appears in this quality anthology. Others include Colin Thiele, Norman Lindsay, Libby Hathorn, Robin Klein, Doug McLeod and Sally Odgers as well as award-winning illustrator Stephen Michael King.
The anthology includes stories and poems on every topic, from rubber thongs to the seasons to bulldozers, and with different moods and styles. The special appeal is that this is an anthology specifically for Australian children from Australian authors, so the Australian tone is strong.
This would, of course, be an excellent classroom tool, with many of the pieces being more suited to reading aloud, but it is also accessible to independent readers of around the age of 8 and over, to read alone. Class teachers could share the book by reading random selections, or use it to source material relating to a specific class theme or topic. Many of the poems would also make wonderful school assembly pieces.
First published in 1996 under the title Beetle Soup, the anthology has been re-released with the title And the Roo Jumped Over the Moon.
And the Roo Jumped Over the Moon, compiled by Robin Morrow, illustrated by Stephen Michael King
Scholastic Australia, 2004