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Topsy Turvy World : How Australian Animals Puzzled Early Explorers - Kirsty Murray

Topsy Turvy World

How Australian Animals Puzzled Early Explorers


Published: 1st October 2012
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Published: 1st October 2012
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To the first Europeans who came to Australia, everything seemed topsy turvy. Christmas was in the summer and trees shed their bark but not their leaves. And the animals were bizarre. There was a bird that laughed like a donkey and a type of greyhound that bound along on its hind legs like a hare. There was an animal in Tasmania whose nocturnal screeches sounded like the devil and a river creature that had a duck’s bill at one end and a beaver’s tail at the other. The Europeans had never seen anything like these animals before and gave them names similar to those of the European creatures they already knew. They drew and painted odd pictures of them, showing they did not understand the animals’ habits. In one illustration, a wombat is standing on its back legs and in another a Tasmanian tiger is wrestling with a platypus of the same size.

About the Author

Kirsty Murray was born in Melbourne, the middle child in a family of seven kids. Kirsty loved books from an early age but when she was a child she never read a story set in her home town. So she decided all the good stories had to be happening elsewhere. Finally, after too many years of wandering, she realised that big stories happen everywhere. Kirsty's novels have won and been shortlisted for many awards. She lives in Melbourne in a big chaotic household with her husband and a tribe of young people.



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Topsy Turvy World

(based on 1 review)

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(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)


Aussie animals in a different light


from Sydney

About Me Everyday Reader

Verified Buyer


  • Deeply Informative
  • Easy To Understand
  • Well Written


    Best Uses

    • Gift
    • Younger Readers

    Comments about Topsy Turvy World:

    What a great book about our very interesting Australian animals and the ways in which others depicted them in the past. A great read

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    ISBN: 9780642277497
    ISBN-10: 0642277494
    Audience: General
    Format: Hardcover
    Language: English
    Number Of Pages: 100
    Published: 1st October 2012
    Publisher: National Library of Australia
    Country of Publication: AU
    Dimensions (cm): 29.7 x 23.0