- 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)
And Kangaroo Played His Didgeridoo Paperback – 1 Jan 1900
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Top Customer Reviews
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."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.