Just Imagine

How Far Can a Kangaroo Jump?

Authored by Alison Limentani
Illustrated by Alison Limentani
Published by Boxer Books

On my first glimpse of the beautifully embossed cover of this non-fiction picture book, I was immediately reminded of one of my favourite childhood book series. Throughout my primary-age years, I was fascinated by the Kingfisher ‘I wonder why…’ books. In these, every new title asked a different informative question to be answered within. Something about the posing of a simple idea as the title of the book itself proved to be  an undeniable draw for myself and my siblings, and for years we would insist that our parents buy more and more of these educational books.

How far can a Kangaroo Jump? brought me straight back to those curious and information-hungry years. I immediately knew this would be the first book in my pile I would delve into. Thankfully, the answer to the titular question was given to me on the first page, then that information continuously built upon by comparing the distance of a kangaroo’s jump to the leaps and bounds of other animals. (Some of which would be great new species to introduce to children such as the springy cassowary bird.)

One of my favourite parts of this cheerfully-coloured and simply structured book is the variety of synonyms used for ‘jump’ on each page. I counted ten different verbs used in this context! My teacher-brain instantly whirred into action, formulating activities and lessons about effective verb-choices, with this book as an incredibly helpful example to be explored. The comparison of distances would also provide a great basis for a maths based investigation about measurement and comparing lengths.

This text would be a great stimulus for a range of activities, but would also be enjoyed by any primary-age children simply as an enlightening information text to build curiosity and answer questions about nature and numbers.