The Twelve Days of Christmas Island
A & U Children’s, 2022
32pp., hbk., RRP $A19.99
Over 2600km north-west of Perth, Christmas Island is a tiny dot in the Indian Ocean, just 135 square km and most of that, national park. This geographical isolation and its dense rainforests mean it is a sanctuary for plants, animals and birds with hundreds of species calling the tiny island home. There is so much more than the red crabs we usually associate with the island.
In this unique book which draws on the format of the traditional Christmas song, young readers are introduced to just a handful of those birds species, so very different to those they usually see on mainland Australia. From the bright-red plumage of the Frigatebird to the iridescent green of the Emerald Dove, these rare and special birds are depicted with brief notes about each species, the lilly pilly tree in which they gather and the island itself complete the pages making the complete package.
If you’re looking for a Christmas book that is not the cardinals and robin redbreasts of the northern hemisphere, or even those in the song, this one is special.