On the third day of Christmas my true love sent to me,
three wet galahs,
two snakes on skis,
and a kookaburra in a gum tree.
Christmas has arrived Down-under, and everything has an Aussie flavour. Instead of gold rings and lords, there are five kangaroos and it’s lizards who are doing the leaping. And mighty hot work it is too. Can you trust the crocodiles who look like they are sleeping? Each opening has a new day of Christmas and then vignettes of the previous days. Final pages postcard Santa’s movements across the festive season, and include a black line master colouring sheet. Along the bottom of each opening, characters prepare for Christmas Day. Illustrations are alight with Michael Salmon’s distinctive humour and absurdity.
Christmas in Australia is a different experience to Christmas in the northern hemisphere, but we are steeped in the traditions, music and icons of a cold celebration. Salmon’s The Down-under 12 Days of Christmas takes a known song and makes it uniquely Australian. The images are full of Australian animals pursuing Australian summer activities (except of course those skiing snakes … ). There is plenty of fun and humour to engage young children. Recommended for junior primary readers.
The Down-under 12 Days of Christmas, Michael Salmon Ford St Publishing 2012 ISBN: 9781921665592
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author