Sing Books with Emily, the Blog

Kookaburra, an Illustrated song

Posted on: August 19, 2015

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kookaburra cantata
Kookaburra (Cantata Learning)
Traditional Words and Tune
Retold by Steven Anderson
Illustrated by Dan Taylor

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Link to this song on Cantata Learning website, includes a player to hear the music Cantata recorded to accompany the book:
http://www.cantatalearning.com/portfolio-item/kookaburra/

 

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Kookaburra is featured in:
rhymes around the world
Rhymes Round the World
Words and Tunes by Various Artists
Illustrated by Kay Chorao

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kookaburra chorao - Copy
Kookaburra
Traditional Words and Tune
From: Rhymes Round the World
Illustrated by Kay Chorao

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Song origins and history on Song Facts:
http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=18997

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Kookaburra can be sung as a round.

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It might be good to be careful with how often and how obnoxiously one sings this song.  It is undoubtedly an ear worm!  David Sedaris writes hilariously about teaching the song to his sister (and his father’s reaction) in his 2009 story, “Laugh, Kookaburra,” in the New Yorker, and later when it was included in his book Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls:
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2009/08/24/laugh-kookaburra

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Example of the tune, here:

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A terrific video of a kookaburra making its call at the Cincinatti Zoo:

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Addendum, 8/21/2015

KOOKABURRA is the 8/21/2015 Sing Books with Emily Illustrated Song of the Day.

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Addendum, 7/13/2016

July 2016, My family just got back from a wonderful vacation in California. One of our outings was to the San Diego Zoo and I learned something to help me sing KOOKABURRA.

KOOKABURRA eucalyptus tree

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The kookaburras of the San Diego Zoo
san diego zoo kookaburras

The gum tree the kookaburra sits in is another name for a eucalyptus tree.

The sign for the kookaburra enclosure reads:

WHY “KOOKABURRA SITS IN THE OLD GUM TREE”
Patient kookaburras wait for prey to pass by.
“Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree…” Yes, he does, but eucalyptus, or gum trees, are prime perches for these winged predators.  A kookaburra sits motionless on a branch until prey passes by.  Then he swoops down and snatches the reptile, rodent, or frog in its big, powerful bill.

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Related Posts

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SONG OF THE DAY (7/31/2015)
Sing Books with Emily (SBWE), Illustrated Songs of the Day:
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2015/07/31/sbwe-songs-of-the-day/

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GEOGRAPHY SONGS IN SINGABLE PICTURE BOOKS
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2013/12/05/geography-songs-in-singable-picture-books/
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AUSTRALIAN SINGABLE PICTURE BOOKS
A list of Singable Picture Books which do not seem to be available in the USA
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/08/09/spbs-from-australia-not-available-in-us/

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BIRDS

For the love of birds!
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/06/25/for-the-birds-a-list-of-singable-picture-books-to-celebrate-our-tuneful-feathered-friends/

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ANIMALS: FAVORITE SONGS
Emily’s Favorite Illustrated Songs to Sing about Singular Animals
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/favorite-illustrated-songs-about-singular-animals/

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