DEC Scan Journal : August 2011
Scan Vol 30 No 3 August 2011 70 double page spread, a small Aboriginal figure hosts visitors, welcoming them to Country with a coolamon of smoking leaves, in acknowledgement of Ancestors and Elders past and present. Many of the artworks feature vaguely humanoid figures, representing the original custodians of each region represented. Images include a plain of boab trees, billowing grasslands, a coral reef, crusted salt pans and a night scene of a jewelled cityscape. An overhead image of suburban rooftops and roads resembles a patchwork quilt. This picture book will complement class discussions on Aboriginal perspectives in a range of key learning areas. I . McLean USER LEVEL: Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 KLA: CA; English; HSIE SYLLABUS: Creative Arts K–6; English K–6; HSIE K–6 $27.95 SCIS 1459702 BLAND, Nick The very itchy bear Scholastic, NSW, 2010 ISBN 9781741696516  The Bear is back! A sequel to The very cranky bear, this new tale finds Bear being bitten by a flea. It is biting to say hello, but bear does not realise this. The amusing colour illustrations show bear’s efforts to stop his itch that eventually land him in the sea, with a surprise ending when a hungry seagull spots Flea. Young children will thoroughly enjoy the rhyming text and illustra- tions. An enjoyable picture book, its clear, uncluttered illustra- tions will suit visual literacy studies in the early stages of learning. R . Parnis USER LEVEL: Early Stage 1 Stage 1 $15.99 SCIS 1470609 BRIGHT, Rachel My sister is an alien Penguin Books Ltd, UK, 2010 (Puffin) ISBN 9780141502656 Extremely cute, this picture book is about Alfie who loves aliens, rockets and the moon. He also has a new baby sister, who he believes is an alien and must be returned to the moon. Young readers will enjoy his preparations conveyed through the brightly coloured illustrations. Units of study on families can be supported by this tale with its delightful conclusion. It can promote discus- sion on the changes baby siblings bring to a family. A close reading of the pictures will reveal items in the illustrations that reinforce gender stereotyping and these would be well worth unpacking through class discussion. R. Parnis USER LEVEL: Early Stage 1 Stage 1 Paper $12.95 SCIS 1470953 BUTTERWORTH, Nick Trixie: the witch’s cat Puffin, UK, 2010 ISBN 9780141326801 A familiar theme in literature for young students is one of self- perception and being comfortable with outward appearances. This delightfully illustrated picture book applies these themes to Trixie, an erstwhile happy witch’s cat who decides that her one white paw is a flaw and despicably ugly. Flying into dark moods whenever she thinks about this perceived defect, she decides to fix the problem using dirt, paint and magic spells. When Trixie achieves her goal, she is not satisfied and wants to change back. The layers in this story ensure its appeal to a range of students. Humour is employed in the guise of two little creatures and their antics on each page. The messages in this book may encourage discussion about the importance of self-worth and counteract feelings of inadequacy relating to body image and identity. S. Rasaiah USER LEVEL: Early Stage 1 Stage 1 Stage 2 Paper $14.95 SCIS 1478909 BYRNE, Richard Millicent and Meer Simon and Schuster, UK, 2011 ISBN 9781847385789 When a big, wooden box lands suddenly in her yard, Millicent is delighted to discover it contains a cute little creature. Upon reading the sign on the side of the box, which says Meerkat, she is excited at the prospect of owning a cat called Meer. Although Millicent loves her new cat, she finds that he does some naughty things such as digging huge holes in the yard. When Meer meets a stray cat, who tries to teach him how to be a proper cat, he finally discovers where he really belongs. This delightful picture book contains an entertaining story and interesting information regarding the habits of meerkats. It could be used as a literacy link for a study of living things. J. Eade USER LEVEL: Early Stage 1 Stage 1 Stage 2 KLA: SciTech SYLLABUS: Science and Technology K–6 $24.99 SCIS 1496235 CHAMPION, Tom Niland, NILAND, Kilmeny & NILAND, Deborah The tall man and the twelve babies Allen & Unwin, NSW, 2010 ISBN 9781742371153 A touching and whimsical tribute to his late mother, Kilmeny Niland, this humorously frenetic picture book is co- written by Tom Champion and illus- trated by his award-winning aunt. A tall man is carer for his twelve babies. Inexplicably, the six boys are all named Alistair; the girls are all Charlene. Barely coping with their noisy misadventures, the situation gets worse when the tall man and six Charlenes get locked out of the house. The man attempts to use the cat flap to get back inside, but it only leaves him vulnerable to even more cheeky mischief from the Alistairs. The artwork is wonder- fully textured with a variety of background patterns. This, together with counting, sound effects, and the physical comedy in the pictures brings the pages to life. I. McLean USER LEVEL: Early Stage 1 Stage 1 Stage 2 $24.95 SCIS 1477905 COLLINS, Paul & THOMPSON, Jo The glasshouse Ford St, Vic, 2010 ISBN 9781921665158 The apparent simplicity of this tale belies its complex themes. Clara lives in an immaculate glasshouse world in which she grows perfect pumpkins. Her obsessiveness leads her to shun the imper- fections of the outside world. Her lifestyle is challenged by a chance meeting with a boy from the unknown world outside.