Author/Illustrator: Anna McGregor
Published: March 26th 2019
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Genres: Children – 3+
Rating: 5 stars
When three differently coloured mobs of kangaroos come together, they discover that they have more in common than they expect. A vibrant and colourful celebration of diversity.
Deep in the heart of the Red Centre lived a mob of red kangaroos. During a long, hot drought, the thirsty roos went searching for water.
When three different groups of kangaroos – red, blue and yellow – all come to the same watering hole, they aren’t sure what to make each of other at first. But they soon they discover that they aren’t so different after all. As the three groups become one, new colours appear, and soon the roos have created a beautiful rainbow!
On the surface, this is a fun, light-hearted story about the colour spectrum, but on deeper level it is a beautiful celebration of diversity.
‘The kangaroos had arrived as the red mob, the blue mob and the yellow mob…
and left as one happy, colourful family.’
Colouroos, a creation of Melbourne based writer and illustrator Anna McGregor, is a distinctly Australian picture book for children ages 3+. Bursting with strong visuals of one of our nation’s most iconic animals, the kangaroo, this vibrant picture book celebrates Australia, our culture, our land and diversity.
Colouroos tells the story of three different mobs of kangaroos. We first meet the red group, who hail from the centre of Australia. Prolonged drought sends the thirsty red kangaroos on a quest to find another reliable water source. The same problem is faced by the blue kangaroos, who migrate from their home in the Blue Mountains, on a mission to find an alternative water source. Finally, we learn that the third group of kangaroos have been sleeping on the golden sands of the beaches of the stunning Gold Coast area. The yellow roos are prompted to find a fresh water source when their area is all but depleted. After a trek across the country, all three groups converge on the same watering hole. The kangaroos soon realise that although they have different coloured fur on the outside, they share many similar traits. The introduction of new life, through the arrival of several different coloured joeys, unites the kangaroos and they embrace the meaning of family.
What a picture book with a difference! Colouroos will definitely make waves in households, early childhood settings and local libraries. It is refreshing to witness picture books such as Colouroos being published and beamed across our country. This simple but effective picture book goes a long way in spreading the word on pertinent issues such as drought, global warming, the protection of our land, acceptance and community. I know I can’t wait to share this meaningful picture book within my own classroom setting. I really feel it has the power to educate young minds!
‘During a long, hot drought, the thirsty roos went searching for water.’
Inspired by her own childhood based in rural Australia, Anna McGregor has injected first hand experiences of growing up in remote Australia into her first picture book. Combined with McGregor’s natural flair for design and her passion for the written word, what has emerged is a fantastic children’s picture book that both entertains and educates the reader. The illustrations immediately caught my eye. They are dynamic and detailed, unveiling so much about our country. McGregor perfectly encapsulates the dusty red plains of the heart of Australia, the muted blue toned forest cottages and the glittering yellow sands inhabited by gorgeous galahs. Each read through of Colouroos, drew my attention to another finer detail. It really is a feast for the eyes and will be sure to capture audiences, young and old!
The language employed by Anna McGregor is in tune with the target audience. The prose is simpl yet purposeful. I loved the variation in text types present in the book, from the use of italics, bold print, colour placement and font style selections. Each word and sentence is carefully placed, so that it enhances the overall reading experience. There are plenty of opportunities to discuss key words that appear in this text, which would assist in extending learning for older readers. These teaching points include, drought, fire, native fauna and flora, along with specific locations marked in the book. A map of Australia precedes the story, so the audience can locate the places mentioned in the book. I thought this was a great bonus touch to the book, along with the stunning rainbow image on the inside of the front cover. In addition, primary and secondary colours are discussed, making this book an excellent resource, as well as stimulus point for art lessons. Colouroos is truly a magical and embracing picture book, that will remain a permanent fixture on my bookshelves.
Jump in headfirst into Colouroos, a considerate picture book that works to stimulate young minds to think critically about the importance of belonging, our land, our native fauna and our climate.
Colouroos by Anna McGregor was published on March 26th 2019 by Hachette Australia. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about Books On Tour visit here.
To learn more about the author of Colouroos, Anna McGregor visit here.
* I wish to thank Hachette Australia and Books On Tour for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.
Colouroos, is book #56 of the Australian Women Writers Challenge
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