Tag Archives: conservation

Backyard – Ananda Braxton-Smith & Lizzy Newcomb



Walker Books Australia

ISBN: 9781925381177
Imprint: Black Dog Books
Release Date: August 1, 2018
Australian RRP: $24.99
New Zealand RRP: $27.99

As educators we are always seeking new ways to switch on our youngsters to awareness and a responsibility towards the environment and we sometimes overlook the smaller picture for the larger. This book with its focus on the amazing diversity found in our own backyards will help us to keep the perspective – and action – local and personal.

The text is both lyrical and resonant with figurative language that will immediately engage young readers and inspire them to seek out other examples. Reminiscent of Dylan Thomas portraits the phrasing such as “sleep-moony child”, “sweet-tooth bats” and “last-light dragonfly” literally infuse the book with the life and energy of all the creatures that may be found in a child’s own environs.

Accompanied by glorious vividly hued and detailed illustrations – and absolutely wonderful endpapers (again!) this will be a delight to share with all little people from around Prep to Year 3.

This makes me think of the many times, pre-library times, when I would take my class of Year 1s or 2s out into the school yard for an environmental explore using all our senses. With the curriculum so crowded these days sometimes these magical moments become scarce but what riches we can bring to children’s attention by doing so.

Highly recommended for your Junior school particularly as a vital component of environmental based units.

The Little Corroboree Frog – Tracy Holton-Ramirez


The Little Corroboree Frog – Tracy Holton-Ramirez & Angela Ramirez

Magabala Books

December 2013


Paperback 32 p.

RRP $14.95


When I was living and teaching in Canberra, we had a very engaging Unit of Inquiry for the Year 1s to begin their research skills and report writing based around the Corroboree Frog. Until that point I was pretty much unaware of these gorgeous little animals and their very precarious grip on survival but soon became quite intrigued. I remained disappointed not to have seen a real one but have discovered much information about them.

One of the problems with delivering the unit was that there was very little material written for younger students. This little book while written as fiction contains a wealth of information and is presented at a very accessible level for Lower Primary children.

Jet the corroboree frog is anxious about his family’s eggs being threatened despite all his efforts to tend the tadpole ponds. When he seeks advice from Grandmother Frog he realises the dangers that are undermining the survival of his species – particularly those caused by humans. A little boy and his father who happen to be visiting his region to go fishing in the nearby river present the perfect chance for Jet to initiate some change in human thinking and action.

This is a really simply written ecological tale and achieves its goal without being ‘preachy’.  A lovely double page spread at the end gives readers lots of facts and figures as well as links for further investigation.

Very much worth inclusion on your shelves and a book to share with all little people who love animals of all kinds, even teeny little clammy ones.

corroboree frog

Loads of reference sites and film clips available:




Corroboree Frog

Corroboree Frog – KidCyber

Project Corroboree

Corroboree Frogs: Taronga Conservation Society

Corroboree Frog Education Kit

Postscript: October 2014 Congratulations Tracy, Angela and Magabala on the Whitley Award from the Royal Zoological Society of NSW!