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Screeches and snarls,
And hisses in trees,
What kinds of monsters
Makes noises like these?
The animals in the bush are scared! Something is making terrible noises - is it snake making that hissing? Is a bear making that growling sound? Can you hear an evil goblin snoring? Help! - a giant is roaring!
Larry Lyrebird finally confesses that he is making all the noises with his mimicking ability. The animals forgive him on one condition:
'You're a wonderful mimic', the animals said,
'Though we have to make it quite plain,
Come live with us, we'll all be your friends,
But you must never scare us again!'
Bright, vibrant illustrations will make this book a must for children.
At the back of the book there is information about the lyrebird in lively, illustrated, accessible text. Learn why it is called a lyrebird, which has the fancier tail, how they build their nests and where they live.
Nina Poulos lives in Berry on the NSW South Coast and has worked in collaboration with children's book illustrator Cheryl Westenberg.
Cheryl Westenberg has illustrated many books for children including 'Little Wombat', 'Giant Koala of La Scala', 'Banjo's Tall Tales' and most recently 'What's Dad Doing' for NLA Publishing. She also lives in Berry.
The animals in the bush are afraid of the sounds they hear at night. Cackle the Kookaburra calls them together to hear their stories and try to find a way to calm them. She hears about noises that come from what they imagine to be monsters. They describe sounds like clack, hiss, snarl, snore, screech and roar, grunt and growl. There is also the beat of wings. But who is really making these noises?
Night Monsters is another terrific book from the NLA which features images from the library's collection. Written in verse, it addresses the fears children experience at night caused by sounds they can't identify, and which are often magnified by the silence, darkness, and their imagination. But most of the time an explanation for what they hear will alleviate their fears. So it is for the animals in the story.
All of the scary sounds that are mentioned are presented in large red letters. These can be a point of focus and discussion between parents and children. The thick laminated pages are practical and durable. Full page illustrations depict the frightened animals with facial expressions that speak louder than words, and complement the clever rhyming text.
Cackle Kookaburra, Waddle Wombat, Ernest the Echidna, Prunella Possum and their Australian bush friends join together in this rollicking rhyme to reveal who is making all the noises at night.
Larry the Lyrebird finally confesses that he is making all the noises with his mimicking ability. This leads to lively, illustrated information at the back of the book about how the Lyrebird got its name, which has the fancier tail, how they build their nests, and where they live.
With its bright, vibrant illustrations and likeable characters, Night Monsters is a must for children. It begs to be read time and time again as children will enjoy the anticipation of knowing what's going to happen and interacting with the animal sounds.
Kids absolutely love a good, healthy spooking, and author Nina Poulos does just that in this spine-tingling romp through the Aussie bush.
The animals are night-nervous. Waddle the Wombat swears he saw a witch in a black hat with a warty face. Her teeth went clack!
Rowdy Roo is certain of a loud hiss that left his knees shaking. Ernest Echidna was also shaking in his quills when the snarls of a massive dinosaur raced on by, and Doris Dingo scattered as fast as she could when a growling bear tore through the trees.
Cackle the Kookaburra is a wise old bird. She gathers the animals round to put their fears to rest. There's an explanation for the screeching, the roaring, the beating and the snoring - and no, it's not some terrifying, fandangled creature - it's the work of a very clever, oh-so-harmless Australian bird.
Can you guess what it might be?
The suspense of this rhyming text will absolutely delight young children, as will the onomatopoeia and vibrant - and oftentimes humorous - illustrations (that bear is a classic!). Fantastic to read aloud in a group setting, kids will both enjoy the storyline and learn about this fascinating native bird - of course, the lyrebird.
A double page spread of interesting information and lovely, thick, shiny pages, give this book the added quality the National Library does so well.
Night Monsters is another of the NLA's picture books which can be used to teach young children about Australian animals.
Written in rhyming couplets - which also makes the book useful for teaching the Literature component of the Australian Curriculum for English - the story confronts the fears that children have about monsters in the night. The animals of the bush are scared too, and so Cackle Kookaburra gathers them together so that they can admit their fears and find out what's causing them:
Cackle Kookaburra sat in a tree
She was glad it was finally light.
For friends had told this wise old bird
Of monsters in the night.
So Cackle called her friends around,
She thought it would be best
To share their tales and find the truth
And put their fears to rest.
Waddle Wombat hears a witch making her teeth go ‘clack'; Rowdy Roo hears hissing; Ernest Echidna is sure that there's a dinosaur snarling; and Doris Dingo hears growling and grunting that she thinks is a bear (which most Australian children will know couldn't possibly be, in the Australian bush). Wallis Wallaby is worried about the beat of a dragon's wings; Paddle Platypus thinks that a goblin is snoring; and Prunella Possum says she's seen a giant roaring. But Cackle Kookaburra knows what's causing all these spooky noises - it's Larry Lyrebird, a remarkable mimic!
All's well that ends well, and the last page of the book features facts about the lyrebird, complete with some images from the NLA's collection, some of them very early ones from the 18th century. The rest of the pictures are bright and lively full colour illustrations by Cheryl Westenberg, who also illustrated What's Dad Doing? which is a very popular book in our school library.
The book is produced on high quality paper, with a cover that is more robust and durable than most paperbacks, giving it a longer shelf-life in a school library.
The subject of monsters in the night has often been explored in children's picture books. Some aim to allay fears while others offer strategies to ward off monsters to parents and children alike. This book published by the National Library in Canberra, offers a whole new look at the idea of night monsters.
Cackle the Kookaburra assembles all her friends to hear about the monsters in the night that they had reported seeing. Each animal in turn tells about their frightening experiences including the sounds they heard and how they responded. Their stories range from a witch to a monster snake hissing, dragon's wings beating and forest giants roaring as they passed. Just then a ghost appears with an eerie sound but Cackle Kookaburra recognises immediately that it is not a ghost but Larry Lyrebird who has frightened them all because he was bored. Larry Lyrebird admits that as a mimic he was able to make sounds which made the animals think that monsters were nearby. As Larry demonstrates his amazing ability he tells them where the sounds came from; the hiss of a tyre going down, the clack of a gate the roar of a motor bike and the screech of a white cockatoo. The animals all agree that Larry can stay if he promises not to scare them again.
The story is told in rhyming verse with full page illustrations showing the imaginary creatures scaring the animal telling its story. The book ends with a double page spread of information and pictures about the Superb Lyrebird drawn from National Library resources. The idea that it is imagination aided by sounds that creates night monsters could help some children overcome night fears, or, at the least, by reading the book they may learn about that amazing Australian mimic, the Lyrebird.