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A Footy Tail

By Alex Johnston & Gregg Dreise

Reviewed by Margarite Igras

This picture book written by South Sydney Rabbitohs star Alex Johnston and illustrated by  First Nations artist, storyteller and musician, Gregg Dreise will appeal to all those children interested in the various Australian Rugby League footy teams. In Alex’s words, the main intention of A Footy Tail is to show that if we welcome all people despite our differences, and work together, we can achieve great things.
The Bunnies practice madly in the park, but it’s never enough. They are just no match for the other bigger, stronger, and tougher teams like the BULLDOGS, TIGERS, SEAEAGLES, BRONCOS or DRAGONS. But their wise friend Crow has an idea. You must allow other animals to play. You don’t all need to be bunnies…There’s no rule that says you must all be the same. 
So, with Crow’s help, they recruit some super skilled animals such as Alex the croc, Cody the goanna, and Trell the big roo. The newly assembled Bunnies team kick off in the new season and surprisingly, manage to win every game.
The rhyming text demands intonation during reading, with some words in bold font and others in bold capitals for extra emphasis. The illustrations are colourful, with many tough and vicious looking animals representing the various footy teams. Indigenous symbols cleverly inhabit the landscape and the Australian animals. The choice of Tail in the title is clever – this is a tale of many animals with many different types of tails.
This story will appeal to all those young children 3+ children who love their football. There is a strong message that when all kinds of animals (or people) work together, and play to their strengths, they can achieve amazing things.
A & U Children 2024
Gregg Dreise
1942 Amsterdam Ave NY (212) 862-3680

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