Invisible Me is the third in a series of stories about Stripey, an ’emu with attitude,’ created by Western Australian artist/author Wendy Binks. The first book in the series, ‘Where’s Stripey,’ was winner of the WA Premier’s Book Awards, Children’s Section.
Stripey lives in Fair Dinkum flats with his parents Crikey and Sheila and wonders why he has stipes but his parents don’t. His sister, Leggy, tells him it’s to make himself invisible when he’s in a special place so Crikey sets off to find that special place. In this tale about camouflage and habitat, Stripey meets other Australian animals along the way, including a red kangaroo hidden amongst the rocks, a goanna on a tree and an echidna on a back porch. In a delightful twist, Stripey thinks he’s found his special place with humans …but I won’t spoil it by telling you. In the end, however, Stripey does find his own special place out in the bush where he is safe and loved.
Binks’ illustrations are cheeky, vibrant and lots of fun. The characters have their own voices and the subject is treated in a light-hearted way. Children and adults alike will enjoy the illustrations and looking for the hidden characters. Binks has included interesting facts at the end of the book. about the animals in her book; emus, echidnas, western ground parrots, red kangaroos, flying foxes and goannas. As support materials Binks has downloadable colouring sheets available at her Stunned Emu Designs website and she is available for author visits to schools. Linking the science themes in the book with some artwork would keep students engaged for hours.
NATIONAL CURRICULUM LINKS (as from ACARA)
Biological sciences (Foundation)
Living things have basic needs, including food and water
- recognising the needs of living things in a range of situations such as pets at home, plants in the garden or plants and animals in bushland
Biological sciences (Year 1)
Living things have a variety of external features
- recognising common features of animals such as head, legs and wings
- describing the use of animal body parts for particular purposes such as moving and feeding
Living things live in different places where their needs are met
- exploring different habitats in the local environment such as the beach, bush and backyard
- recognising that different living things live in different places such as land and water
Biological sciences (Year 2)
Living things grow, change and have offspring similar to themselves
- representing personal growth and changes from birth
- recognising that living things have predictable characteristics at different stages of development
Biological sciences (Year 4)
Living things, including plants and animals, depend on each other and the environment to survive.
- investigating the roles of living things in a habitat, for instance producers, consumers or decomposers
- observing and describing predator-prey relationships
- predicting the effects when living things in feeding relationships are removed or die out in an area
- recognising that interactions between living things may be competitive or mutually beneficial.
Biological sciences (Year 5)
Living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in their environment.
- describing and listing adaptations of living things suited for the Australian environment
- exploring general adaptations for particular environments such as water conservation in deserts
- explaining how particular adaptations help survival such as nocturnal behaviour, silvery coloured leaves of dune plants
- comparing types of adaptations such as behavioural and structural
Author/Illustrator: Wendy Binks
Stunned Emu Press, 2011