Nursery Rhymes From Down Under

Mr. Bandicoot

Mr. Bandicoot

Have you ever heard of a bandicoot? I hadn’t, at least not until I was introduced to Anne Lawson’s lovely Australian nursery rhyme book, Mr. Bandicoot & Other Tales.

Mr. Bandicoot is a group of rhymes thought up by Anne when her children were little. They’re all decidedly Australian with stories about kangaroos, gum trees, and, of course, Mr. Bandicoot himself.

Anne says:

I wrote these songs about 50 or 60 years ago as a means of entertaining my children while I worked. Many of the collection of 27 nursery rhymes are centered around and about the family farm situated between Sydney and Wollongong…. They feature fantastic tales of the small adventures that one can encounter every day.

The songs and rhymes are filled with fantasy, imagination, and above all else, a mother’s love. The illustrations are whimsical, and as an added treat, Kate Rowe (of Space Rabbits fame) lent her talents to the accompanying CD, so you can listen to each of the songs while you read along with your kids. It’s really an amazing collection.

Mr. Bandicoot & Other Tales

Anne also shared with me the way this book came about:

In 2008 at a family get together for Mother’s Day some of my children put on an impromptu concert featuring the songs [I had written] and found themselves debating the lyrics of one of the songs.

To settle the matter I spent some time finding the book I had hand made for the children so long ago. In the ensuing debate a CD was suggested and then a book.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

I love the idea that these songs had been sitting in a box in an attic somewhere, collecting dust, worried about being forgotten, when they really lived on in the hearts of each of Anne’s children. Suddenly it became clear to the entire family that they should be shared with everyone.

Visit Mr. Bandicoot online to learn more about his story and listen to some of the songs.



Amber BobnarAmber Bobnar

Amber lives with her husband and son in Watertown, MA. Originally hailing from Hawaii, Amber and her family moved to Watertown to be closer to the Perkins School for the Blind where her son attends preschool. She has a Master’s degree in English from Tufts University and spends most of her “free time” writing about being a parent of a disabled child on or about the family’s musical adventures around Boston on But really most of her time is spent caring for and playing with her little boy. (Originally posted at Boston Children’s Music.)

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