I read a book called Wombat Walkabout by Carol Diggory Shields to the Kindergartners yesterday. The book is about 6 wombats living in Australia who are trying to avoid being eaten by a dingo. The book has adorable illustrations and the kids liked it because they could make associations between this story and The 3 Little Pigs. Plus, it has rhyming and counting which they always enjoy too.
I really liked it because it begins by teaching kids about some of the new Australian words and animals they'll encounter in the book, like wombat and dingo. It took everything I had not to shout, "A dingo ate my baby! A dingo ate my baby!", but I didn't think they'd get it.
I started by getting out the globe and showing them where Australia is in comparison to South Dakota, about my friend K who is a nurse in Australia, and how people in Australia look and talk. For some reason, many of the kids thought Australians spoke Chinese. They then proceeded to "speak Chinese". At this point, things were getting a little racist up in the lib so I quickly put a stop to their bilingualism.
I frantically changed the subject and told them that since Australia is on the other side of the world, my friend K is just getting up when we go to bed at night. (I'm not sure how accurate I was, but 6 years olds aren't really interested in accuracy. See above.) One little girl in the front raised her hand and very seriously asked, "Is your friend a vampire?"