Books key in native fauna ed

Patricia BoltBusselton Dunsborough Times
The common Brushtail
Camera IconThe common Brushtail Credit: Steve Quartly

Our country has so many wonderful creatures that aren’t found anywhere else on Earth.

One of the great ways to introduce these to your children and grandchildren is through books.

Reading to children is one of the best things you can do for a child and is one of the utmost and simplest joys.

It underlies so much of our learning, and storytelling can play a crucial role in helping children learn about the natural world.

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Stories can relate beliefs, attitudes and social norms, which shape their view of reality.

They allow children to dream of possibilities and to develop experience scenarios outside of their day-to-day living.

Australia is home to more than one million species; it also has the fourth-highest level of animal species extinction in the world.

It is important that young people become knowledgeable about the environment and animals within it and storytelling can do this.

Children’s books about introduced or overseas species, such as dogs, cats, bears, tigers or elephants, overshadow those written about Australian animals.

Search for a children’s book on dogs or bears in the bookstore or library, and you’ll find hundreds, but search for a children’s book on goannas or dingoes and you’ll find only a handful.

Our children can only connect to what they recognise and understand. They will recognise the dog or the cat but do they recognise the native animal in the picture that is common in the South West? Can they give you a book title that features it or the habitat in which it lives?

As children engage in books, they can be inspired to make a difference. These holidays, take a trip to the library and discover our native animals and their stories.

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