Books & Literature

Book Review: Bush Mob Counting, by Helen Milroy

PICTURE BOOK: Bush Mob Counting is a fun and colourful way for young children to learn how to count to 10. Milroy’s famous animal characters are sure to educate and entertain children of all ages.

A delight for the eyes, and one to share.

Feature image credit: Magabala Books

Shortlisted for the 2023 Speech Pathology Book of the Year, Birth to Three Years, Bush Mob Counting is Dr Helen Milroy’s latest in the Tales of the Bush Mob series. Dr Milroy is a descendant of the Palyku people, and Australia’s first Indigenous doctor, who later branched into mental health and research, specialising in the wellbeing of Indigenous children.

Her expertise has been nicely fashioned into creating educational board books. Bush Mob Counting teaches the young reader counting skills using a paired consecutive page rhythm. On the left-hand side of each spread are the words, with the animal in question written in straight font, and the remainder of the sentence in a wave-like pattern. On the right-hand page is the illustration.

This design provides for visual reading of the text by drawing a distinction to the keyword, the name of the animal, and the Bush Mob friends from previous works, which allows the reader to follow them in different stories. It is great for education and in making teaching fun, and in Milroy’s words “teaching love and respect for our unique Australian animals.”

The board book with rounded edges is suitable for babies through to toddlers and teaches up to number 10. The sensory exploration is both auditory and visual, with each animal illustrated in minimalist form, in its habitat. The remaining background of the sky and land is created by the uniquely distinctive Aboriginal art patterning of the landscapes.

The book starts and ends with questions for you to share with your reader, and as such is suitable both within the home and in classrooms.

Reviewed by Rebecca Wu

The views expressed in this review belong to the author and not Glam Adelaide, its affiliates, or employees.

Distributed by: Magabala Books
Released: October 2022
RRP: $17.99

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