Backyard – Ananda Braxton-Smith & Lizzy Newcomb



Walker Books Australia

ISBN: 9781925381177
Imprint: Black Dog Books
Release Date: August 1, 2018
Australian RRP: $24.99
New Zealand RRP: $27.99

As educators we are always seeking new ways to switch on our youngsters to awareness and a responsibility towards the environment and we sometimes overlook the smaller picture for the larger. This book with its focus on the amazing diversity found in our own backyards will help us to keep the perspective – and action – local and personal.

The text is both lyrical and resonant with figurative language that will immediately engage young readers and inspire them to seek out other examples. Reminiscent of Dylan Thomas portraits the phrasing such as “sleep-moony child”, “sweet-tooth bats” and “last-light dragonfly” literally infuse the book with the life and energy of all the creatures that may be found in a child’s own environs.

Accompanied by glorious vividly hued and detailed illustrations – and absolutely wonderful endpapers (again!) this will be a delight to share with all little people from around Prep to Year 3.

This makes me think of the many times, pre-library times, when I would take my class of Year 1s or 2s out into the school yard for an environmental explore using all our senses. With the curriculum so crowded these days sometimes these magical moments become scarce but what riches we can bring to children’s attention by doing so.

Highly recommended for your Junior school particularly as a vital component of environmental based units.

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