Noni the Pony Rescues a Joey
Allen & Unwin, 2018
32pp., hbk., RRP $A24.99
Noni the Pony heads out for a wander in the hills behind Waratah Bay with her friends Coco the Cat and Dave the Dog. They haven’t gone far when they meet a lost wallaby on the trail and so it becomes their mission to help the little joey find his family. But none of the other creatures can help, mostly because they sleep during the day and haven’t seen anything. Will the joey find his family?
Former Australian Children’s Laureate Alison Lester first introduced us to Noni the Pony in 2011 and it was shortlisted for the CBCA Early Childhood Book of the Year. This was followed by another adventure Noni the Pony Goes to the Beach.in 2014 so she has become a favourite of many preschoolers over time. This new adventure, written in rhyme and beautifully illustrated, will become a favourite too, particularly if today’s preschooler has an older sibling who remembers the earlier stories. Apart from the joy of the rhythm and the rhyme of the language, it’s a chance to introduce our youngest readers to some of the more familiar indigenous creatures of this country and talk about why they would all be asleep during the day when surely, that’s the time to be up and about like Noni. There is also the opportunity to talk about how the joey felt being separated from its parents and what the child should do if it finds itself in a similar situation.
While it is the perfect bedtime story, it might be better shared during the day when everyone can join the cows in the celebratory dance at the end!