Sensational Australian Animals¦BOOK REVIEW

By: Stephanie Owen Reeder
Illustrated by: Cher Hart

Hardback | February 2024 |
$ 29.99
ISBN: 9781486316892 |
64 pages | 280 x 215 mm
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Colour illustrations

ePDF | February 2024
ISBN: 9781486316908
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Available from eRetailers

ePUB | February 2024
ISBN: 9781486316915
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Available from eRetailers

This beautifully illustrated hardcover book (with a link to teacher’s notes) looks at the huge diversity of Australian animals through the lenses of their five senses – sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. The vivid artwork and diagrams cover more than 145 “marvellous mammals, boisterous birds, rad reptiles, biting bugs, awesome arachnids and fussy feeders”. 

Beginning each chapter with a diagram for each sense (i.e. the human eye), attention is drawn (by illustration) to the differences between human and animal biology, for example, the eyes of the kangaroo, frog, crocodile and cuttlefish. In addition, the reasons for these differences are given to explain how the animal evolved and how it uses its senses; for example, the eyes of the nocturnal Greater Glider enable it to easily find its prey at night.

Other features of this outstanding book include a “Sensational facts” sidebar in each chapter highlighting the unusual ways some animals use their senses. Also, each new term and name is highlighted in bold as it appears, referring the reader to the excellent glossary.

So, wherever you live in Australia – city, bush, rainforest, outback or the beach – there is a host of awesome “sharp-eyed, noisy, smelly, slimy and occasionally dangerous creatures” for you to discover.

Without a doubt, this book, recommended for ages 8-12, would be a delight to read and ponder for ages 8-80! It encourages the reader to appreciate, help conserve and look after our wildlife for generations to come!

Wendy Morris