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Over in Australia, Amazing Animals Down Under.

Hop, dance and zig-zag with the amazing animals of Australia! In the "Down Under" continent, baby wallabies learn to hop, emus zig-zag, and sugar gliders "lap on sweet sap." Children will learn to love these endearing, unqiue Australian animals. Cut-paper illustrations add to the fun!



*2012 Florida Book Award
•2012 Learning Magazine Teacher’s Choice Award
•2011 Florida Publishers Assn. Presidents Award – Gold (Children’s Picture Book)
•2011 Skipping Stones Magazine Honor Award
•2011 Mom’s Choice Gold Award
•2011 Young Voices Foundation Gold Award (Children’s Picture Book Category)
•2011 Moonbeam Children’s Book Gold Award (Picture Book – All Ages Category)
•2011 Purple Dragonfly Book Award – First Place (Children’s Picture Book)
•2011 IBPPG Next Generation Indie Book Award – Finalist
•2011 Missouri State Teacher’s Assn. Reading Circle Program Selection

"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)

"Why shouldn't the meadow in the nursery rhyme "Over in the Meadow" be in Australia? Berkes recasts the song to introduce readers to counting Australian animals, and the names of their young:("Over in Autralia/Looking like a kangaroo/ Lived a smaller wallaby/And her little joeys two.) Dubin's lively collages feature textured papers, with pencil and crayons providing extra detail for the animals. Add musical notation for the song as well as detailed information about the 10 featured animals (plus 10 more hidden throughout the spread) and it's a remarkably layered and entertaining trip to the land of Oz. Ages 3-8"

"With a fluid text and lively illustrations, this picture book introduces 10 Australian animals: saltwater crocodiles, wallabies, koalas, platypuses, rainbow lorikeets, wombats, sugar gliders, brolgas, bilbies, andemus. Many writers have used the structure, rhythm, and rhyme scheme of the traditional rhyme “Over in the Meadow” as a vehicle for similar topics, but few have adapted it as successfully as Berkes. Varied effects of painted, printed, and textured elements enhance Dubin’s vibrant collages of cut and torn papers. The first 10 double-page spreads focus on the animal mothers and their babies; the next locates each species on a map of Australia and challenges children to go back and search for the other creatures hidden in the pictures. The book concludes with facts about all the Australian animals shown, a brief bibliography, ideas for activities, and the traditional tune for “Over in the Meadow.” A great choice for classroom units on Australia."— Carolyn Phelan (March 15, 2011)

"Outstanding collage assemblages represent the animals featured in this wonderful counting book in rhyme. The rhyming stanzas have an easy read-aloud flow which your students will have fun memorizing and chanting along. Extensive information and activities about the animals from Australia, teacher resources, tips from the author on how to deeply use this book, photo-illustrated tips from the illustrator showcases her assembly method, song and lyrics for “Over in Australia,” and other nature awareness books presented at the end. If this comes in comes in hardcover edition, I would purchase that version, as this will get a lot of check-out use! Excellent."— Puget Sound Council for Reviewing Children’s Media – J.J. Avinger-Jacques (February 2011)

Rating: 5 Stars (EXCELLENT)
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 wallabies 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.

— Home School Book Review – Wayne S. Walker (February 2011)