To the first Europeans who came to Australia, everything about the new land was topsy-turvy. Christmas was in summer instead of winter. Trees shed their bark instead of their leaves. The smells sounds and tastes of the new land were nothing like Europe. Everything they assumed about the way the world was made was turned inside out and upside down.
The title of Topsy Turvy World: How Australian Animals Puzzled Early Explorers says it all. This intriguing offering looks at some of Australia’s unique animals, and at how they were seen by first Europeans to encounter them.
For each animal there is a description of first contact with, and impressions of, the animal, followed by an exploration of the characteristics of the animal, under the heading ‘What the Europeans needed to learn’, accompanied by a ‘Fast Facts’ box. Illustrations have been sourced from the National Library of Australia’s collection, allowing readers to see the early illustrations and contrast them with the reality.
This beautifully designed hard cover offering is suitable for classroom, library or home reading.
Topsy Turvy World: How Australian Animals Puzzled Early Explorers, by Kirsty Murray
National Library of Australia Press, 2012
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