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'The Rescue Ark' is travelling around Australia helping endangered animals! Watch the wombats, parrots, potoroos, quolls and many more make their way onto the Ark.
This picture book, illustrated with wonderful collages, keys into the increasing awareness about our endangered animals by young children and their parents.
Firstly, have fun tracing the Ark's journey on the colourful map of Australia and reading about the animals that will be collected on its way around the coast.
Then, help the animals onto the Ark by singing or reading the rhymes. At the end of the book, find out if the Aussie children make the world safe for their animals again.
In the back pages, learn more about these endangered animals in an easy-to-read fast facts text with photographs of the real animals.
And don't forget to read the great endorsement on the cover of the book:
"Kids are going to have a great time singing this lovely song and learning about the animals that need our help. The beautiful collaged illustrations and zoological notes at the back make it a perfect addition to any young nature-lovers library." Alison Lester
Susan Hall is author of the bestselling 'Guess Who? A Lift-the-flap Book About Australian Wildlife'. She lives in Canberra. Naomi Zouwer has illustrated several books for the National Library's children's list.
The animals went in two by two the Noah's Ark, that's for sure, but in this delightful Aussie version, it's not elephants and giraffes and camels that plod up the gang plank-it's endangered or vulnerable Antipodean animals like the Australian Sea Lion, Western Ringtail Possum, Pygmy Bluetongue Lizard, Tasmanian Devil, Numbat and Native Bee. And it's no great flood they're escaping from, either-it's instead their very own environment, and the appalling loss of habitat contributing to each species' demise.
Told in rhyming text, each stanza in the book is opposed by a full illustration featuring the animals in question. Children can explore these images as they sing along to the classic tune, and learn all about typical Aussie animals beyond the roo and the sulphur crested cockatoo. At the back of the book, parents, teachers and older kids will appreciate some fascinating information on the featured animals and why they are endangered. Paintings from the NLA's extensive digital collection are also featured, with a glossary of artists.
All children's books are road-tested by the NLA, with preschool children. It's no surprise the children responded so well to this Aussie animal introduction, most especially with animals they're not necessarily over familiar with. Ecological themes make this book ideal for classroom work.
Highly recommended for readers from 4-7 and for Early Years classes. Susan Hall's rhyming story introduces the concepts of endangered and vulnerable Australian animals and their need to be rescued from the destruction of their own habitats. In this picture book, she has adapted the popular song The Animals Went in Two by Two to explore and explain the environmental challenges faced by these animals. The children's decision to build a Rescue Ark highlights that even the youngest can join the fight to save the wildlife and their habitats.
As the ark circumnavigates Australia, animals from each state and territory find sanctuary on the ship. The Australian Sea Lion, Pygmy Bluetongue Lizard, Tasmanian Devil, Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat, Numbat and Native Bee are some of the species rescued. Instead of escaping from a Biblical flood, they remain afloat until the Aussie kids call out to say 'we've cleaned up your land, it's safe, ok.'
The full colour illustrations showcase the endangered fauna in the foreground while a stylised ark floats inside a circular background border. Naomi Zouwer's choice of complimentary background colours add depth and dimension.
The inclusion of comprehensive information and photographs and paintings from the NLA's collection are useful teaching tools and allow for further research into the plight of endangered animals in Australia.
An Australian variation on the song The animals went in two by two, The Rescue Ark tells the story of two children who travel around Australia saving endangered species from the pollution and development that have destroyed their habitats. The children build an ark and sail around the continent providing a safe haven for the animals who climb aboard two by two: possums and potoroos, black cockatoos, sea lions, Tasmanian devils, Northern hairy-nosed wombats and may more.
The picture book is beautifully illustrated by Naomi Zouwer in watercolour, ink and other media. All the animals included in the story are deemed ‘critically endangered' or ‘vulnerable' by the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. Their native habitats are shown on a map at the start of the book, and further facts about each species, with pictures, are provided at the end.
The Rescue Ark can be read aloud as a story or sung to the tune of the original song. Both educational and highly entertaining, the rollicking rhythm, satisfying rhyme and cheerful pictures, should appeal to children from preschool to lower primary age.
It's the children that discover the pollution and damage to the environment, and therefore to the habitats of many Australian wildlife. They decide to build an ark and travel around the country, collecting two of each species to protect, until their homes are cleaned up.
We follow the trail the children take around Australia with their ark, on a map which indicates where each of the twenty animals represented, can be found. The delightful, detailed illustrations of each animal pair are presented within circles, giving the impression that the reader is looking through a window. This is set against a coloured background.
Stunning plates from the National Library of Australia's collection are included at the end with an informational block that carries a description of each animal, how they live etc, if they are endangered, critically endangered, or vulnerable. This is followed by a List of Illustrations with the archive details included as always.
This is another outstanding production from the NLA that again, both entertains and educates. It promotes awareness of the environment and the need to protect our endangered native species. These subtle persuasions come wrapped in the entertaining sing-song rhyming verse of the animals went in two by two that will stay in children's minds.