Preschool Programs Chapter

Go Wild Down Under

Books to Share

  • Found You, Little Wombat by Charles Fuge and Angela McAllister.
  • Snap! by Marcia Vaughan.
  • Wombat Goes Walkabout by Michael Morpurgo.
  • Wombat Stew by Marcia Vaughan.

Books to Show and Booktalk

  • Diary of a Wombat by Jackie French.
  • G’Day Australia by April Pulley Sayre.
  • Kangaroos by Judith Logan Lehne.
  • Koala Lou by Mem Fox.


Use index cards stamped with an image of an Australian animal to create nametags. An inexpensive koala rubber stamp is available from Widget Supply at


Purchase or make cardboard “road crossing” signs for various Australian animals to “warn” visitors about wombats, koalas, kangaroos, and dingos in the area. These can be purchased from the About Australia. This store, located near the Alamo, offers mail order for all things related to Australia, including decorations, food, music, and art. The web address and phone number for About Australia are in the Professional Resources section of this program.


Climb, Koala, Climb

(By Barrie Teague Alguire)

Climb, koala, climb, (Make climbing motions with your hands)

Way up in your tree. (Raise your hand high over your head)

Eat, koala, eat, (Mime eating)

Leaves that sway so free. (Wave your hands slowly back and forth)

Sleep, koala, sleep, (Make a stretching motion as people do when they are sleepy)

Sleep and dream of me. (Lay your head on your hands in a sleeping motion)

Here Comes Kangaroo

(By Barrie Teague Alguire)

Boing! Boing! Boing! Boing! (Hop two fingers high in the air)

Here comes kangaroo (Hold both hands at chest level, curved like kangaroo paw)

Bing, bing, bing, bing, (Hop two fingers in small rapid hopping motions)

Here comes baby, too. (Cup hands together as if holding a small animal)

Rhymes and Poetry

Read “The Kangaroo” in Beast Feast by Douglas Florian.


“Waltzing Matilda” on Children’s Favorite Songs Vol. 3 by Various Artists.

“Kookaburra” on Children’s Favorite Songs Vol. 4 by Various Artists, and on Wee Sing Animals, Animals, Animals by Pamela Conn Beall and Susan Hagen Nipp.



(Adapted from Kangaroo by Judith Logan Lehne.)

When Captain James Cook arrived in Australia in 1770, he asked the Aborigines about the strange animal that hopped on those strong hind legs. The Aborigines replied “kangaroo,” so that is the name we call it. However, in the Aborigine language, “kangaroo” means “I don’t know what you are saying.”

Note: While this is a cute story and is widely believed to be true, it is not accurate. The word “Kangaroo” is probably derived from the Guugu Yimidhirr (an Australian Aboriginal language) word gangurru.


Mama Kangaroo With Baby


Photocopy the kangaroo pattern onto white paper or construction paper. Cut out a mother kangaroo, baby kangaroo, and the pouch for each child. Let the children color their kangaroos and glue the pouch onto the mother kangaroo’s abdomen, leaving the top open. They can slip the baby kangaroo into and out of the pouch. If you like, let the children glue the kangaroos onto construction paper to make them stronger.

Kangaroo and/or Koala Headband Hats

Make a kangaroo or a koala headband hat using the patterns in Paper Hat Tricks III by Patt Newbold and Anne Diebel. Or, reduce the size of the patterns and make stick puppets. This title is out of print but some libraries and library system offices have a copy. Patterns can also be purchased on the Paper Hat Tricks Web site


Creative Dramatics

After reading Wombat Stew by Marcia Vaughan, have the children act out the story. One child plays the wombat, while you play the dingo dog. You can expand the number of characters to accommodate as many children as wish to participate. Either include additional Australian animals not included in the original story, or have more than one emu, echidna, etc.


The Wiggles. Wiggly Safari. (54 minutes) In addition to the musical numbers on this DVD, there is a section about the animals of Australia. Children can see a kangaroo hop, a koala sleep, and a kookaburra call. Each clip lasts only a minute or two. If you do not have public performance rights for this item, display it for circulation.

Web Sites

Ettamogah Wildlife Sanctuary, Australia
This site offers dot-to-dot pictures, a word search, explanations of Aussie slang, as well as a kangaroo and a koala craft with detailed instructions.

Jan Brett’s Webpage
Jan Brett provides many coloring pages, including one of a platypus.

Professional Resources

  • Animals of the World by Phillipe Legendre.
  • Beast Feast by Douglas Florian.
  • Ed Emberley’s Big Green Drawing Book by Ed Emberley.
  • Paper Hat Tricks III by Patt Newbold and Anne Diebel.
  • About Australia

    Address: 123 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio, 78205. Phone 210-299-1077.

    This store, located near the Alamo, offers mail order for all things related to Australia, including decorations, food, music, and art.
  • Paper Hat Tricks

    Order headband hat patterns.


Texas Reading Club 2005 Programming Manual / Go Wild...Read!

Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011