#PictureBookFriday – If I Had a Kangaroo

I wasn’t sure what I was going to choose for this week’s #PictureBookFriday until a much-anticipated book that I’d forgotten was due for release arrived for me on Tuesday and made the decision for me! (it was in with the customer orders at work and I was outraged that someone was getting it before me as a store copy hadn’t arrived yet…til I realised it was the copy I had ordered in for myself!)

If I Had a Kangaroo by Gabby Dawnay and Alex Barrow, published by Thames and Hudson

This is the fifth book in this series and we are BIG fans! We’ve been reading them since Peapod was almost two and now he’s almost four and he was just as excited as ever when he saw me come home with this one!

Can’t believe we don’t have a kangaroo plush BUT it gives me the perfect excuse to buy the jelly cat one that’s come into work!

And it was actually a bit lovely rereading our posts about the earlier books – here and here – and seeing him and his responses to them as a teeny then slightly less teeny toddler! He’s much more vocal about the whole thing now and knows the stories so well, so of course the first thing he wanted to know was whether the Kangaroo does a poo…!

*Spoiler alert*

Of course it does!

Poo included, this book follows the same format as the previous books in the series (If I Had a Dinosaur/Sleepy Sloth/Unicorn/Octopus) with a child imagining their dream pet and what it would be like to have one, highlighting what it would do and eat (play cricket, have a BBQ, – it is Australian after all!) and features of the animal that make it unique – in this case, its strength and bounce-ability! (I was particularly pleased to see the gothy older sibling from Unicorn make a return cameo here too!)

As with the previous books too, we get to learn more about kangaroos, but in this book we also get to see more about where they’re from too with two gorgeous spreads at the start and finish showing the Australian landscape and other indigenous animals too.

These books are so lovely – warm and funny in equal measure with rhyming text that bounces, Kangaroo-like, along. I love the familiar pattern to them, and Peapod does too – that element of knowing what to expect but still not knowing exactly what will be in the pages!

We haven’t done anything linked to this one yet, but there has to be a Kangaroo craft up our sleeves this weekend. I’m thinking some sort of pouch-pocket action – I’ll update the post when we’ve done one!

Other things this book, and more broadly this series of books would be great for are:

  • Learning about Australia or other Australian animals – small world play with animal figures would be great for this, and once I’ve ordered us some suitable animals we’ll definitely be giving this a go too (cannot believe we don’t have a kangaroo or koala figure!)
  • Finding Australia on a map or globe. Play travel agents or small world airport play to go on holiday there – what to pack, what to do and see… Get some travel brochures to help!
  • Thinking up your own dream pets and drawing/writing about them or buying and selling them in a role play shop.

Have you read any of the If I Had A… books? Do you have a favourite? What would you choose as a pet?!


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