Gift Guide

Over in Australia: Amazing Animals Down Under

( 5 )


Australian animals are unique. Their babies may be riding in mama's pouch, or hitching a ride on daddy, piggy-back! Children will sing, clap and count to the rhyme of "Over in the Meadow" as they learn about wallabies, koalas, wombats, and more. Cut-paper illustrations add to the fun.

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Australian animals are unique. Their babies may be riding in mama's pouch, or hitching a ride on daddy, piggy-back! Children will sing, clap and count to the rhyme of "Over in the Meadow" as they learn about wallabies, koalas, wombats, and more. Cut-paper illustrations add to the fun.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Berkes incorporates some of Australia's unique animals in her latest variant of the familiar song, "Over in the Meadow." Among them are wallabies, brolgas, lorikeets, wombats, and bilbies. Each spread provides listeners with a number of baby animals to count in the cumulative verse. A final map of Australia incorporates all of the creatures for additional practice. Dubin's charming paper collages deftly use a variety of patterns plus a bonus "hidden" animal noted on one of the informative pages after the song text. That section also includes more facts about all the mentioned animals, offers suggestions for class activities, explains Dubin's illustration process, and provides the score for those unfamiliar with the tune. A useful supplement for a variety of curriculum areas and a pleasant read just for fun.—Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Children's Literature - Maggie Chase
If you know the tune to "Over in the Meadow," then you can't help but sing your way through this delightfully engaging book. As with the others in Berkes' series that use this tune as a unifying motif for explaining the critters of a particular region or biome, this one doesn't disappoint. From the bilbies to the brolgas, we are introduced to a variety of creatures that roam the Australian landscape through the lyrics of the song, but an additional treat includes a single Australian animal hidden in the scene on each page, such as the echidna or the tiger quoll. At the back of the book are pages of information about the animals, resources for additional information, teaching ideas, and a map of the country. Dubin's cut-outs enhance the visual appeal of the book by combining appropriate texture, colors, and patterns to illustrate the settings and animals described in this book. This book would serve as a welcome and interactive text for any elementary teacher whose students study Australia. Reviewer: Maggie Chase
Kirkus Reviews

Berkes continues her series of wildlife books based on the popular tune "Over in the Meadow" with this work highlighting Australian animals and habitats (Over in the Arctic, 2008, etc.). Counting from one to 10, animals range from familiar koalas to the endangered, lesser-known bilby. Proper terms for offspring are italicized, while numbers are spotlighted with colored text, giving the song a decidedly informative feel. Also contributing to the educational element is the punchy vocabulary. How does a bilby behave? They " 'Slurp,' said the mother. / 'We slurp,' said the nine. / So they slurped and they burped / In a sandy place to dine." Brightly patterned and richly textured collage illustrations depict creatures in scenes that reflect their natural surroundings. Readers will greatly enjoy singing the tune as they learn about each animal. Extensive backmatter provides even more information about Australian wildlife, including animals hidden on every double-page spread that readers are encouraged to go back and find. The "Fact or Fiction" section describes what liberties the author took depicting the different animal families. Also included are educational and creative ideas from both author and illustrator, a simple, illustrated map, print and Internet resources as well as music, lyrics and chords for "Over in Australia."(Informational picture book. 3-9)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781584691365
  • Publisher: Dawn Publications
  • Publication date: 3/1/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 324,313
  • Age range: 3 - 6 Years
  • Lexile: AD660L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.80 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2014

    Another great book by Berkes!

    My favorite book of the series remains "Over in the Ocean" for the vibrant artwork, but this is a close second. The story and information are great, and holds a child's interest. The reader learns interesting facts about some unusual animals in Australia that may be unfamiliar. The art is very nice, with more subtle colors.

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  • Posted July 25, 2013

    Marianne Berkes' books are an absolute delight to read. Not only

    Marianne Berkes' books are an absolute delight to read. Not only are they entertaining, as all good pre-school books should be, they are extremely informative. Whenever I read one of her books, I, as well as my toddler, learn something. I can't even imagine how much research must go into these books. So when her newest book about Australia was released this year, I had to buy it. And, of course, have her sign it, because as I've mentioned before, she is very gracious about that.
    The illustrators for her books are amazingly creative, especially for the "Over in..." books, using polymer clay for some titles and for this one, paper cuts. The depth created by these three dimensional media is rich and breathtakingly lovely.
    Over in Australia, like the other "Over in..." previous titles is set to the tune of Over in the Meadow, so once you work it out for the first one, the following books pretty much fall into place. Over in Australia, also like the other "Over in...", is a beautiful book and an educational and fun (really!) read. I would recommend the entire series for any toddler/pre-schooler.

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  • Posted June 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Mom's Choice Awards Recipient!

    Over in Australia is a recipient of the prestigious Mom's Choice Award. The Mom's Choice Awards honors excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. An esteemed panel of judges includes education, media and other experts as well as parents, children, librarians, performing artists, producers, medical and business professionals, authors, scientists and others. A sampling of the panel members includes: Dr. Twila C. Liggett, ten-time Emmy-winner, professor and founder of PBS's Reading Rainbow; Julie Aigner-Clark, Creator of Baby Einstein and The Safe Side Project; Jodee Blanco, and New York Times best-selling Author; LeAnn Thieman, motivational speaker and coauthor of seven Chicken Soup For The Soul books. Parents and educators look for the Mom's Choice Awards seal in selecting quality materials and products for children and families.

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  • Posted February 13, 2011

    Do you know what a brolga is?

    Do you know what a brolga is? I surely didn't until I read this book. Providing both fascinating information about different animals in Australia and fun reinforcement in learning how to count, author Marianne Berkes tells how one crocodile hatchling snaps, two little wallabys hop, three baby koalas munch, four platypups (platypus pups) splash, five rainbow lorikeets chit, six wombat joeys dig, seven sugar gliders lap, eight brolga chicks dance, nine bilbies slurp, and ten emus zig. By the way, the brolga is a kind of tall bird in the crane family.
    Over in Australia uses cute rhymes that children will adore and is filled with gorgeous illustrations by Jill Dubin. In addition, at each opening there is a surprise hidden animal to find! You might just see a kookaburra, although I don't know if he's sitting in an old gum tree. Also in the back are several pages of activities and further information about the animals. Other books by Berkes that follow the "Over in the Meadow" pattern are Over in the Ocean, Over in the Jungle, both of which I have read and reviewed, and Over in the Arctic. Dawn Publications is dedicated to inspiring in children a deeper understanding and appreciation for all life on earth, and further resources for teachers and parents can be downloaded from their website.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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