April 26 – Hug an Australian Day

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About the Holiday

Hug an Australian Day was initiated by Ruth and Thomas Roy of Wellcat.com. It’s a perfect time to celebrate all things from the land Down Under—like the people’s sunny personalities and the awesome (or should I say aussieome?) wildlife. Today, listen to your fav Australian music, watch an Australian movie, and if you have friends or relatives who are Australian, send them good wishes.

Alfie’s Lost Sharkie

By Anna Walker

 

It’s Alfie’s bedtime, but Alfie is lodged headfirst in his toy basket searching for Sharkie. He’s quite distinctive, Alfie tells his dad. with “white fins, sharp teeth, and scary eyes.” Oh, yeah, and “he’s blue.” Could he be outside? Alfie’s dad relents and lets him look while he runs water in the tub.

Outside in a tall tree Alfie hangs from a branch and asks a bug, a bird, and a cat if they’ve seen Sharkie. Come down now, his dad calls, it’s bath time. Alfie dives to the depths of the bathtub to look for Sharkie, but all he finds is a jellyfish. Pajama time, says his dad.

Like quicksand the pajama drawer sucks Alfie in. “I’m okay,” he says, struggling to the top only to see his cat wearing his pajama bottoms. Alfie looks under the chair and in his jack-in-the-box. A tear rolls down Alfie’s nose as he stares longingly out the window. It’s story time, says his dad.

While his dad reads, Alfie stands on his head contemplating the whereabouts of Sharkie. Why is his dad making him brush his teeth and pick out a toy to sleep with when he’s obviously so not tired? Reluctantly Alfie chooses a toy—in fact all his toys—and marches toward bed.  And who should he find? The armful of toys goes flying as Alfie leaps onto the covers. He’s so happy to see Sharkie!

Dad tucks Alfie and all the toys under the blankets, and Alfie closes his eyes hugging Sharkie tight. But a new thought strikes Alfie—“Where’s Bunny?”

In Alfie’s Lost Sharkie, Melbourne-based Anna Walker has created a picture book that will have kids and adults laughing at the familiar bedtime scenario. The story’s spare text echoes the rhythms of the nighttime routine with a child trying to wring just a few more minutes out of the day.

The sweetly drawn illustrations are equal parts humorous and cute as Alfie wrangles time under the curious gaze of his toys and mischievous cat. The final picture of Alfie tossing Sharkie aside will make adults nod their heads in recognition while kids will probably think, “Yeah! That’s a good point!” Funny visual details and the loving relationship between Alfie and his patient dad will make Alfie’s Lost Sharkie a book kids will want to read again and again.

Ages 3 – 7

Clarion Books, 2016 | ISBN 978-0544586567

Hug an Australian Day Activity

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Awesome Aussie Word Scramble

 

A cute koala invites you to unscramble the names of Animals found in Australia and discover the secret phrase!  Print your Awesome Aussie Animals Word Scramble here!

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