Dawn Publications
Over In Australia
Over in Australia: Amazing Animals Down Under
Click the cover to look inside!
Author: Marianne Berkes
Illustrator: Jill Dubin

Retail Price: Paperback • $8.95 | Hardback • $16.95
Web Special: Paperback • $6.71 | Hardback • $12.71

Most of the animals in Australia are unique—they live ONLY in Australia. From kangaroos to koalas, they are a fascinating bunch. Once again, Marianne Berkes makes learning fun. Kids will hop, slurp, and munch as they imitate and count the animals. Like Over in the Arctic, the cut-paper illustrations will inspire many an art project. Plus Marianne provides tons of ideas for activities and curriculum extensions about Australia, literature, writing, and animals. Teachers and parents, as well as kids, are the winners here.

Educators: download free activities based on this book on our activities page.

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Book Details

  • 2012 Learning Magazine Teacher’s Choice Award
  • 2011 Florida Publishers Assn. Presidents Award – Gold Award (Children’s Picture Book)
  • 2011 Florida Book Silver Award (Children’s Literature Category)
  • 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, Ages 5 & under)
  • 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.”

— Kirkus Reviews (February 1, 2011)

“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 Australia / Looking like a kangaroo / Lived a smaller wallaby / And her little joeys two”). Dubin’s lively collages feature textured papers, with pencil and crayon 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 spreads), and it’s a remarkably layered and entertaining tip to the land of Oz.”

— Publisher’s Weekly (January 17, 2011)

“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, and
emus. 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.”

— Booklist (American Library Assn.) – Carolyn Phelan (March 15, 2011)

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