PARK WATCH Article December 2023 |

Kade Mills, ReefWatch Coordinator, with his son Zeke, review Diprotodon: A Megafauna Journey, by Bronwyn Saunders

CSIRO Publishing, 2023, 32pp, ISBN 9781486316762

Reading a book with a kid is a joy. Any kid, it doesn’t even have to be a kid you know: I have often found myself on trains, planes and buses reading a book to one of my kids and within minutes have a crowd of kids changing seats, leaning over seats or pulling up a bit of floor to listen and join in the conversations reading a book can spark.

One such conversation is the age-old debate of who would win if a Megalodon was pitted against a T-Rex being one of the more recent lively discussions. If you were wondering, it was decided that the Megalodon would just bite the head off the T-Rex as T-Rex arms are too small to stop a Megalodon.

Kids tend to be well versed in dinosaurs and ancient sharks, yet megafauna is often overlooked and underrepresented in children’s literature and minds. Diprotodon: A Megafauna Journey brings to life some of the megafauna that roamed throughout Australia by introducing us to the life of a Diprotodon, the largest-known marsupial to have ever lived.

Once the excitement of getting a new book and being a book reviewer subsided, my son Zeke was led through the story by a six-year-old Diprotodon who encountered megafauna that roamed Australia at the same time. Zeke ‘loves the giant crocodile and the marsupial lion‘, though the ’giant lizard is awesome‘ and that the ’book was great‘. Zeke then went on to talk about Megalodon and superheroes.

For grown-ups, I suggest taking the time to read the notes at the back of the book. You will learn a thing or two and appear knowledgeable when kids ask questions while reading. Personally, I learnt a lot about some of Australia’s megafauna but would have been aided by more extensive notes on the other megafauna that make an appearance throughout the book.

It was later decided that the Diprotodon would lose to both a Megalodon and a T-Rex.