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And Kangaroo Played His Didgeridoo Paperback – 1 Jan 1900

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Australia; Reprint edition (1 Jan. 1900)
  • ISBN-10: 1863881794
  • ISBN-13: 978-1863881791
  • Product Dimensions: 27.7 x 20.3 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 811,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I was sent this book by an Australian relative and have read it to my three boys on numerous occasions.
Both the whacky pictures of the strange animals that inhabit that arid country and the catchy rhyming text, are a joy for both reader and child. We are now familiar with an entire ark of wierd and wonderful beasts in addition to the old standards, Kangaroo and Koala! I would say that it has whet our appetite for a visit one fine day. "You should have come to the great Aussie do, the guest list read like an Aussie who's who."
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.7 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 26 July 2016
By AmandaJKuykendall - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Such a fun book- gives so many creative ideas in the telling.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun with Aussie Icons 14 Dec. 2011
By Jungle Girl - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Delightful review of my recent trip to the Land Down Under. Verse where Australian animals gather at Uluru--each page ending with Kangaroo played his didgeridoo. I failed to buy this book when I saw it in Australia, and it's very hard to find in the US.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Australian Failing on Display 11 Jan. 2012
By Richard E. Baldwin - Published on
Format: Paperback
Jungle Girl's brief review of AND KANGAROO PLAYED HIS DIDGERIDOO provides an accurate summary: "Verse where Australian animals gather at Uluru--each page ending with `and Kangaroo played his didgeridoo.'" It is a pleasant little book in many respects, but while it provides an introduction to Australia's exotic birds and animals, it leaves the continent's Aboriginal peoples out of the picture completely.

If the book were only about birds and animals, that would not be a big deal. It is a big deal for two reasons: the prominent role given to the didgeridoo and the presence in the book of a pair of Euro-Australians, aka "White People."

The didgeridoo is a symbolic component of Aboriginal ritual and physical culture. Like the boomerang, it is recognized around the world as a profound expression of their way of life. The insult to the Aborigines of having their instrument not only played by the kangaroo--the best known symbol of modern European Australia-- but also having it referred to as "HIS didgeridoo" is minor alongside the complete absence of Aborigines from the book.

The book is mostly about animals--wombats, koala bears, platypuses, etc.--but it claims to represent all Australians. It opens with these lines:
"You should have come to this Great Aussie Do
The Guest list sure read like an Aussie Who's Who"

This "Aussie Who's Who" includes a couple of Euro-Australians who dance to the same beat as the other Australian animals. The book ends with a group portrait of all the critters introduced, including the beaming young "white" couple. The Aborigines, inventors of the didgeridoo, however, do not appear anywhere. This is like using a jazz soundtrack for a film on American history that ignores the presence of blacks, slavery, or Jim Crow.

The author, Nigel Gray, is an Australian. His insensitivity to the Aborigines is more a national trait than a personal one, but it is sad that his imaginative powers failed to transcend the moral failure of his culture.
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