Who Is It? Australian Animals of the Night, by Julie Murphy

Reviewed by Molly Martin


The narrative opens as we creep through the Australian bush with our torch (flashlight) at night. If we are quiet we may be able to see the secretive night creatures. An underwater world and a feathertail glider, a hollow log reveals an echidna; our adventure begins. There is a big wombat in a hole under the log, and a bandicoot making pointy bottom holes like ice cream cones as he searches for food. Up in a tree is a ringtail possum, while down in the grass is a grey kangaroo and her joey . Something up in the tree is grunting like a pig. A pig in a tree? No, it is not a pig. And, what can be splashing in the stream? There in another tree is a brushtail possum gathering leaves.

Who Is It? Australian Animals of the Night as presented by writer Murphy and illustrator van Hoesel is a delightful edition for all children. Australian children will recognize the critters, the torch and the setting. Children not familiar with the Australian bush or the critters will learn something of them.

The tale told on the pages of Who Is It? Australian Animals of the Night is presented in simple, child friendly prose. Illustrations are resplendent and colorful. As a teacher this book is one I have taken to use in my classroom. While the language used is a bit immature for my 4th graders, kids ages 9 – 10 years, the pictures and animals have much appeal. The work serves as discussion starter for beginning a study of some of the fascinating critters found in a country far distant from the plains of Oklahoma, USA. Children’s natural curiosity is piqued leading to the class ‘digging’ into books and internet for more information relating to the critters and land of Australia.

Who Is It? Australian Animals of the Night is a good addition to the eBook library whether the personal reading list or for classroom and library use.

I had a bit of trouble trying to use the flip book edition, however the pdf is easily navigated.

Enjoyed the read, happy to recommend.

Who Is It? Australian Animals of the Night, by Julie Murphy, illustrations by Richard JM van Hoesel
Writers Exchange, 2006

Reviewed by: molly martin
20+ years California classroom teacher, again teaching today in Oklahoma USA