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Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite
Take it from me, an ex-pat Aussie living in Canada: Travel Rangers: Mission to Australia by Erika Bud is “bonza”! What? Oh, forgive me. I just got carried away thinking about the reactions of youngsters reading this delightful book and hearing some Aussie “lingo” (words) for the first time. Bonza, by the way, is an Australian word for terrific, a most appropriate word to describe the content, colors, presentation, and experience youngsters will enjoy as they turn the pages of Travel Rangers: Mission to Australia. This book is the first of a series designed to help primary school children learn about countries other than their own. To my surprise, even this old ex-pat learned something she didn’t know about her homeland i.e. that Australia has the world’s largest herd of wild camels in the Outback. When it comes to Australian animals, most children immediately think of kangaroos and koalas. But camels?
In a most delightful way, young readers will discover how different it is to drive on Australian roads, and that when North America is freezing in winter, it’s summer in Australia. They’ll discover some popular Aussie sports, climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and learn that favorite Aussie foods are “snags”, meat pies, and “vegemite”. Most Aussies are raised eating vegemite on hot buttered toast, but the funniest thing is watching folks from other countries trying it for the first time. Teachers, if you can get your hands on a small jar of vegemite, take it into the classroom when your students are reading this book, and just watch the reactions from students brave enough to sample that famous Aussie black goo! I cannot praise Travel Rangers: Mission to Australia enough. Erika Bud has found a superb way to help youngsters learn about other countries, especially with the inclusion of AR technology (a downloadable app) and lesson plans for teachers. And do check out the website for more information.