"The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise." - author Jackie French

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Review: The Last Dance

'Hidden by autumn leaves, the Corroboree Frog sleeps and dreams of his last dance.'

Australia is a country filled with amazing animals, but some are struggling to survive and thrive. Author/illustrator Sally Morgan explains to young readers that from sandstone ridges to tranquil forests, from beaches to the outback, there are many Australian animals that need our help.

When thinking of endangered species, high profile animals like pandas, polar bears and whales come quickly to mind. Through her bright, bold illustrations and haiku-like text, Morgan reminds us that there are many Australian animals also suffering from threats to their habitat.

The Last Dance is a wonderful way to introduce the importance of caring for our environment to young children. Through the text and illustrations, and a brief summary in the final pages of the specific threats to each of the ten animals mentioned, Morgan delivers a gentle reminder that our actions have consequences. Pollution in our waterways and bushland, fishing nets and the clearing of bushland and forests have a huge impact on many animals including those mentioned in the book such as Gilbert’s Potoroo, dugongs, numbats and the Flatback Turtle.

I think books such as this are a powerful way to start our children on the path of environmental awareness. The important message of conservation is delivered in a very gentle way, a reminder that our ocean and bushland environments and their inhabitants are precious.

The Last Dance is a lovely picture book to have at home and it is also ideal for preschool and infants classroom discussions about the environment and the safety and protection of Australian wildlife.

Title: The Last Dance
Author/Illustrator: Sally Morgan
Publisher: Little Hare Books, $24.95 RRP
Publication Date: 1 August 2012
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781921714849
For ages: 4 - 9
Type: Picture book

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