Aussie Animal Opposites presents Australian animals while demonstrating some alliteration and as the title suggests, opposites. Each opening offers a pair of opposite set in backgrounds which suggest their normal environments. Characters are presented in anthropomorphic and cartoony style, and contain plenty of humour. Later openings show paintings of each animal featured and the final opening attributes the original artist and where the image first appears. Each of these later images also offers information, asks questions of the reader and suggests activities for young children.
Aussie Animal Opposites offers different things to different readings and perhaps readers. Very young children will respond to the alliteration and the opposites and will be able to begin to recognise the animals depicted. As they engage further (slightly older?), they can learn more about the animals themselves – both through the images and the information provided. Further rereading offers opportunities for shared learning and activities. This is a sturdy larger-than-some board book and it is the cartoony characters who feature on the cover. Perhaps the factual information will engage an older sibling while the younger is learning about big and small, old and young. Recommended for very young readers.
Aussie Animal Opposites, Elizabeth Lea ill Liz Faul National Library of Australia Publishing 2013 ISBN: 9780642277664
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author
Available from good bookstores or online.