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'If students can't learn the way we teach, we must teach the way they learn' (Ignacio Estrada, via Tomlinson)

Posts Tagged ‘Susan Hall’

Book Review: The Rescue Ark, by Susan Hall, illustrated by Naomi Zouwer

Posted by Lisa Hill on September 26, 2014

The Rescue ArkThe Rescue Ark is a delightful picture book pitched at raising the environmental awareness of young children.  While the allusion to the Biblical Ark is made obvious by the illustrations, it’s not a vengeful Old Testament God that the animals need to be rescued from, but rather from their own habitats which have been fouled by pollution.

Told in occasionally slightly awkward rhyme, the book shows endangered animals clambering, whooshing and grumbling their way onto the Ark, some (as you’d expect) in less orderly fashion than others.  The animals are mostly charismatic cuddly creatures, with cute little faces rendered in slightly muted primary coloured collages by talented artist Naomi Zouwer.   The Ark’s passengers include wombats, potoroos, numbats, quolls, bandicoots, bilbies, Tasmanian devils, wallabies and possums; while amongst the flying creatures there are butterflies, parrots and cockatoos.  In the less adorable but likewise endangered category there are bees, snakes, lizards, frogs and turtles, not to mention a river mouse that looks much more like a rat.  For the adult, there are zoological notes at the back which explain the conservation status of the animals, and there is a map so that the route of the Ark around Australia can be traced as the animals board it.  Some of the illustrations for the zoological notes are images from the National Library’s Rare Books Collection and they include pictures by the likes of John Gould, while others are the work of contemporary wildlife photographers.

Ideally suited for pre-school and prep children, the book concludes with the empowering message that the animals return to their homes when Aussie kids have cleaned up the environment.  This title would be a nice one to include in any units of work about Australian  animals.

For another review, see Kids’ Book Reviews.

Author: Susan Hall
Illustrator: Naomi Zouwer
Title: The Rescue Ark
Publisher: NLA (National Library of Australia, 2014
ISBN: 9780642278104
Source: Review copy courtesy of the NLA.

Fishpond: The Rescue Ark
Or direct from the NLA bookshop.

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Book Review: What’s Dad Doing? by Susan Hall

Posted by Lisa Hill on September 10, 2013

My students love lift-the-flap books, and I know they are going to love this one.  What’s Dad Doing? is a charming little book that subverts stereotypes very nicely…

Pat the Possum and his little mate Wesley Wombat go looking for dad in all sorts of places.  They check out the shed, they wonder if he’s mowing the lawn, they look to see if he’s reading the newspaper.

But no, he’s not doing any of these things:  when the flap is lifted, he’s feeding the baby, doing the dishes, cooking dinner and helping mum to hang out the washing.  That’s because ringtail possum parents share the parenting …

Which makes a ringtail possum a very good role model for people parents, eh?

This is an excellent little book for those Me and My Family units that all schools do with their Preps Foundation classes, and the facts section at the back makes it a handy addition to a school library’s collection about Australian animals.

The simple repetitive text makes it ideal for beginning readers, and the witty illustrations by Cheryl Westenberg with the pudgy little wombat in a superhero suit are just gorgeous.  The book is printed on robust card so it looks as if it will stand up to wear and tear for a while.

What's Dad Doing? Author: Susan Hall
Title: What’s Dad Doing?
Illustrations by Cheryl Westenberg
Publisher: National Library of Australia, 2013
ISBN: 9780642277916
Source: Review copy courtesy of the NLA


Fishpond: What’s Dad Doing?
Or direct from the NLA Bookshop

Posted in Australian Children's Literature, Book Reviews, Recommended books, School Library stuff | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »