One Potoroo. A story of survival by Penny Jaye and Alicia Rogerson. Published by CSIRO

In 2015 a bushfire swept through Two Peoples bay, a nature reserve of the southern coast of Western Australia.

Bushfires are a part of the Australian landscape but when they don’t occur as often as they should and when combined with extreme dry of the changing climate they can be devastating.

The story – One Potoroo tells the story of the survival of only 7 potoroos after this devastating bushfire and the efforts of many volunteers, scientists and environmentalists to ensure that these Potoroos would survive – and thrive in a new and safe environment.

The story is told through Penny Jaye’s excellent description – groups of three adjectives, figurative language and informative facts, and Alicia Rogerson’s painted illustrations really allow the reader to see the Potoroo’s habitat, what it looks like & how the big world looks from its perspective. .

The illustrations are drawn so that as the story is being read, the reader can actually take a view from the Potoroo’s perspective – the rocks it hides beneath, the leaves they hop upon and the night sky they forage under. 

Teachers can use this book as part of their living things unit alongside sustainability and geography.

Learning more about endangered animals and how people can help them is important as they more we know, the more we will act in the right way towards the environment.

The use of groups of three words throughout the picture book really add emotion and feeling to this story, drawing you in to how the fire chases down the hill, how people care for the Potoroo and how the Potoroo moves through its new and safe environment. This is a great literacy lesson here.

Teachers

Use this book to inspire your Living Things Science unit – what is the life cycle of a Potoroo?

Sustainability & Geography – why do bushfires occur in Australia? Explore the indigenous methods of caring for the land through fire and how they are influencing this in Australian methods today (Stage 3)

Good websites:

https://www.potoroo.org/

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