Australian animals push from the inside of this new counting book and jostle for space on the front cover. Numbers run down the other side of the front cover, and also spread out across the back cover. There is no doubt that what the reader is offered here is a counting book. But it’s also a public relations exercise for the animals being counted. Wombat, who can sometime suffers an image problem is presented as handsome, dashing, classy and more. As the pages fill with more and more animals, descriptions contract to well known Australianisms. There are ‘dinki-di’ Tasmanian devils and ‘fair dinkum’ fur seals. The final page, full of hatching crocodiles hints that there could more mischief afoot.
The numbers are large on each page. Text curls its way across the page. There is a sense of constant movement as kangaroos leapfrog, cockatoos call. Even the witchetty grubs have personality. The most well-known of Aussie animals are here but so too are bilbies, cuscus and lyrebirds. There is plenty of white space on the cover and on the pages. The Number One Aussie Counting Book is bright, colourful, zany. Young children will enjoy the counting and older children will enjoy reading the descriptions. All will enjoy the antics on each opening. Recommended for pre- and early school age children. Would also be a great gift to send overseas.
The Number One Aussie Counting Book, by Heath McKenzie
Black Dog Books 2007