Book review, Tips

Tips to share: Waltzing Matilda

August 08, 2017

There are so many possibilities for sharing this well illustrated version of perhaps Australia’s most well known song. Children of all ages will enjoy exploring the pictures as you sing the song together – no need to even read the words!

What do all those old fashioned words like billabong, jumbuck, tuckerbag, swaggie and billy mean? Some of our Western Queensland and rural families will absolutely know, but how about our city dwellers? Has anyone boiled the billy when camping? What does Waltzing Matilda mean? How many of these will you have to look up together – there were a few we had to!

All through the book there are newspaper clippings reporting on the historical happenings of the day.  What do we read newspapers for? There are also maps and sheets of music to explore. How does the music look different to letters? Looking at shapes and sizes is the first step to learning the alphabet.

If you have older children at school they will have studied these events and will be able to give your little ones a wonderful perspective of their understanding. Why was the swaggie hungry? Why did the troopers come to get him? Talk to grandparents to ask about their understanding of Waltzing Matilda.

There are lots of other wonderful Banjo Paterson poems you may be able to find at your local library. These paint beautiful word pictures of Australia’s early landscape and lifestyle.