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The Bunyip of Berkeley's Creek

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  163 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
The creature from Berkeley's Creek thinks he's a bunyip but no one agrees because bunyips simply don't exist.
Paperback, 32 pages
Published July 31st 1980 by Puffin Books (first published 1973)
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The Bunyip of Berkeley's Creek by Jenny Wagner, illustrated by Ron Brooks is a gentle, humorous story of prejudice, identity and self-acceptance about a mythological Australian creature.

Brooks' illustrations are reminiscent at times of Sendak, using a dark engraving style that suits this story well. My favorite images are the cover, passing platypus, lost in thought, chasing the emu, quiet billabong, billy on to boil, and the last two pictures.

This is a great story about identity, prejudice, and
Sep 09, 2016 DadReads rated it really liked it
The Bunyip of Berkeley’s Creek is a story of self-discovery, of not being confined by the perceptions of others. To summarise: a creature emerges from the black mud of a creek. As it scrapes off the mud it asks itself: “What am I?” As quick as Cary Young buzzing in to answer the same question of Tony Barber, a platypus answers: “You are a bunyip”. The bunyip goes around asking other animals what he looks like. “Horrible,” says a wallaby. “Horrible,” says an emu.

The bunyip finds a man, a scientis
Every Aussie kids knows the story, and it lives in our childhood hearts. Re-reading it again as an adult I reserve the right to be a little more critical - but I can't. It's still a quiet lovely tale of someone feeling completely out of place, where no one understands, and yet - we can always find someone ... somewhere ... like us.

The illustrations by Ron Brooks remind me of Georges Seurat, though with short strokes rather than dots of colour.

I saw this a few years back as a puppet play (large s
Mar 08, 2013 Amy rated it it was ok
Shelves: childrens, reviewed
Kind of an interesting story that I hoped would go somewhere. I think kids can identify with the Bunyip as he seeks to understand himself. After all, kids spend their childhoods and teenage years (and maybe even their 20s?) trying to do the same. Unfortunately, I think this was a rather weak ending to a compelling little story. I feel like I missed the point.
I'm pretty sure I remember this being read to my class when I was in first or second class.
Jun 13, 2012 Justwinter rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, own
One of my favorite books as a child--the story holds up well when re-read as an adult. Anyone (and nearly everyone) who has felt like the ugly duckling, out of place and awkward, will have their heart warmed by the story. The artwork is also amazing--intricate and detailed--I remember really believing in the 'otherness' of The Bunyip's environment. Recommend for parents to read to children--and for adults to re-discover.
Apr 03, 2012 Anh rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
The pictures are Sendak like, but of an Australian Indigenous mythical creature who searching through other creatures for image of himself. The other classic indigenous creatures like Platypus and Emu are cruel as the humans in it, but he rises from their mudslinging and comes to know himself through another of his kind. Classic take on Australian history and pictures of awe for children and adults.
Louise (A Strong Belief in Wicker)
I read this book countless times to my so when he was youger. I thought it an odd book to appeal to a toddler so much, but he just loved it, he wanted to read and re-read it, and we borrowed it from the library many, many times. I think I need to go back and re-examine this fairly amazing book again. You know, I think I will.
Margaret Chind
Oct 28, 2014 Margaret Chind marked it as to-read
Excerpts and/or reprints included in Once Upon a Time.
Apr 11, 2015 Cowgirlgem rated it it was amazing
I love this book and have since I was a kid.

The art is detailed, sepia toned, somewhat creepy, delightfulness!

I like Bunyip's eagerness and concern through his identity crisis as he tries to find out what he is and always love the end.
My dad brought this back for me from a business trip to the UK. It says on the book that it won the Children's Book Council of Australia's Picture Book of the Year Award for 1974, but it's not one that you see very often in the US.
Nik McGrath
Sep 16, 2014 Nik McGrath rated it it was amazing
This was one of my fav picture books as a kid. I just reread it for YA lit at uni. Such brilliant illustrations by Ron Brooks, and such a touching message by Jenny Wagner. Teaching children about the sense of belonging and wanting to be accepted for who we are, inside and out.
Bunyip's don't exist! Or do they?

I remember this book from my childhood! An absolute classic.

We watched this being read by Tim Minchin on Playschool and he did a fantastic job at narrating this story. He brought the book to life in his own quirky way.
Mar 03, 2015 Linda rated it it was amazing
Loved this book when I was teaching. Especially when I was relief teaching. I could run a whole weeks programme around it. Great illustrations and lovely outcome.
Melissa Messenger
Feb 07, 2016 Melissa Messenger rated it it was amazing
a beautiful book. well written, drawings are gorgeous. the story is gentle and sweet with a great ending. it shows lids about how being different is ok.
Sarah rated it it was amazing
Jul 31, 2007
Rita rated it it was amazing
Jun 17, 2012
Rosie rated it it was ok
Dec 25, 2014
Ellika rated it it was amazing
Aug 20, 2016
Caitlin rated it really liked it
Aug 05, 2015
Liam rated it liked it
Jun 22, 2016
Liza rated it really liked it
Aug 19, 2011
乐乐 rated it liked it
Apr 02, 2016
Audrey Churchill
Audrey Churchill rated it really liked it
May 24, 2016
Thais Correa
Thais Correa rated it it was amazing
Jun 29, 2016
Amanda Chapman
Amanda Chapman rated it it was amazing
Feb 27, 2015
Aw! Poor Bunyip :( Definitely less scary than the one in Dot and the Kangaroo ;)
Aug 21, 2012 alana rated it liked it
Shelves: childrenslit
Gorgeous illustrations!
Jackalin Collins
Jackalin Collins rated it it was amazing
Sep 25, 2014
Ellen rated it it was amazing
Jul 17, 2012
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In 1974, Jenny Wagner's book 'The Bunyip of Berkeley's Creek' won The Children's Book Council of Australia's Picture Book of the Year Award as well as a Special Award in Book of the Year for that year.

Her book, 'Aranea: a story about a spider' was commended in the 1976 Picture Book of the Year awards.

'John Brown, Rose and the Midnight Cat' was winner in 1978 of the Picture Book of the Year award.

More about Jenny Wagner...

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