The Colouroos by Anna McGregor

Beyond the glittering sky scrapers of the Gold Coast, at a secluded beach of golden sand, a mob of yellow roos stirred from their slumber in search of fresh water.

The Colouroos, written by Anna McGregor is a cleverly written story which interweaves the concepts of drought, diversity and daring in Australia.

In three different areas of Australia there are three different mobs of kangaroos. They need the same things – family, water and home . The journey from the Red centre of the NT, the Blue Mountains of NSW and the Gold Coast of QLD.

Through their journey they discover that although they all look different, their needs are all the same. And when they realise how similar they are, colourful things happen!

Anna McGregor has weaved a simple yet deep story, intertwining topical issues of diversity and acceptance alongside geography, climate and colour!

Children will adore the colours which leap out of the story in each setting the kangaroos come from.

They will love talking about what the kangaroos discover once they get together around a common waterhole.

And they will love learning more about the diversity of Australia!

The Colouroos by Anna McGregor is a lovely story about Australia and the diverse nation it is, it is a poignant story about the state of the climate and the impact it has on the wildlife and it is a story which celebrates colours and life.

The Colouroos is a book we have loved reading and one which I have enjoyed sharing with children of all ages – it hits the spot with children of all ages

Teaching tips

Sustainability

What is drought? How is drought defined? Is drought a natural occurrence and if so, why? How can we ensure Australia does not make drought occur more often than it naturally should?

Science

Life cycle of kangaroos, habitats and eating habits.

Weather patterns

Geography

Migration of animals across Australia at different times of the year, in different years due to weather or human events.

Personal development

What is diversity? How is your community diverse? Why does the world need to be a diverse place?

Visual Art

Explore primary and secondary colours and the different degrees of these.

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2017 is International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development

Books make links to issues that are larger to understand for small people.

There are some wonderful books that support these big ideas so go to your local library 

The key areas the UN will be focusing on are:

(1)     Inclusive and sustainable economic growth

Ada’s Violin by Susan Hood
(2)     Social inclusiveness, employment and poverty reduction Schuumann the Shoeman by John Danalis 
(3)     Resource efficiency, environmental protection and climate change On the River by Ronald Harvey  

(post coming soon!)

(4)     Cultural values, diversity and heritage Amelia Ellicott’s Garden by Liliana Stafford
(5)     Mutual understanding, peace and security Blue Sky, Yellow Kite by Janet  A Holmes

(post coming soon!)

Two Summers by John Heffernan and Freya Blackwood

Two Summers by John Heffernan and Freya Blackwood is a moving and informative story told through the eyes of a young boy who lives on a farm through abundance and scarcity.


Nature rules the lives of so many whose livelihood depend on the great cycles of nature causing great joy and also great distress.

As most of the population live in cities and suburbs of those cities we really need to take the time to appreciate what goes on on those farms and how much weather patterns plays a role in what the farmers can and can’t do with produce and live stock.

The young boy in this story is waiting for his friend Rick to come and visit him again over summer and is making comparisons to last year when  the river flowed, the green grass, the number of animals around and the extra time they have to put into the farm when the grass isn’t there for the animals to feed on. He hopes that perhaps Rick will bring some rain with him.

Two Summers is a beautifully written book with soft and emotive illustrations. You can feel the emotions of the family through their daily life on the farm and begin to understand what farming life is like when times are tough.

So how can you link this book with your children and family to make more meaning? 

Geography: Taking a trip to the countryside is so important but if it can’t be done there are many local farms that are often within an hours drive of a major city.

Take some time to see where your food comes from and learn how the amount of rain, the fluctuations in temperature and the pressure from large multinationals plays a role on the lives of the people who provide food for us.

English: Look deeper into perspective – how would you feel if you lived on a farm? How does this boy feel?

Science: Look at the rainfall and temperatures of a large farming area where your food comes from. How do you think this climate effects produce?