Town Possum, Outback Possum
Little Hare, 2011.
Jacko the Possum is very content curled up in the hollow of the eucalypt beside a cool pond, deep in the country. Watching the sunset is enough entertainment for him. Even when his peace is disturbed by his cousin Jessica from the city, he is unperturbed. But after three days, Jessica is bored and persuades Jacko to join her in the city, and, in the tradition of ‘Town Mouse, Country Mouse’, both find that there is no place like home.
However, there is much more to this story than an Australian version of an old tale, and its richness can be explored through themes like friendship, what makes a home, similarities and differences and subtle questions such as “Do we all enjoy the same sorts of things? Is there something wrong with us if we like something our friends don’t?” or “When was the last time a possum kept you awake all night until you took drastic action? What would that be like from the possum’s perspective?”
The verse format will appeal to the younger readers because it gives the story a rhyme and a rhythm, and the humour of Jacko’s encounters in the city will delight everyone, while Heath McKenzie’s illustrations are the perfect accompaniment.
And if I haven’t yet convinced you that this is a must-have on the library’s shelves, then there are teaching notes available.
Others in the series are