The Monster Who Ate Australia

The Monster Who Ate Australia

Michael Salmon

The Monster Who Ate Australia was first released in 1984 and in 1990 won the Young Australians Best Book Award.  The monster is a boggabri, called Burra, a creature which is a cousin to the bunyip. The boggabri, whose diet includes rocks and other hard objects, travels around Australia looking for a place without tourists. Children listening to or reading the book will learn about several places around Australia.

This book is suitable for children aged five to nine. It will need to be read aloud to the younger children because some of the events, such as the America’s Cup, will need to be explained. Adults will enjoy reading it aloud, however, because the humour is very dry.

My favourite part was when Burra shoved his head into one of the ‘caves’ of the Sydney Opera House and the startled musicians , who escaped , cried out, ‘Surely our music isn’t that bad.’ The musicians seem to be the practical sort, though; they appear to dive and swim well and one who obviously couldn’t was floating on his double bass.

There may be symbolism too; otherwise the placing of a filing cabinet with Tax Plan A and Tax Plan B labelled on it next to three circling sharks, is a little odd.

The Monster Who Ate Australia is an excellent book because it’s lots of fun.

Katy Gerner

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