Do Kangaroos Wear Seatbelts?

Overview

This warm and whimsical picture book opens with a little boy eagerly anticipating a trip to the zoo as his mother straps him into his car seat. Like most toddlers, he would rather run free than wear a seat belt, ride in a stroller, hold Mommy's hand, or climb into her backpack. As they pass various animal exhibits, the little boy asks teasing questions, such as "If I were a monkey, would I have to wear a helmet?" Mommy's light-hearted responses reveal, in a bouncy cadence, how animal and human moms alike keep ...

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Overview

This warm and whimsical picture book opens with a little boy eagerly anticipating a trip to the zoo as his mother straps him into his car seat. Like most toddlers, he would rather run free than wear a seat belt, ride in a stroller, hold Mommy's hand, or climb into her backpack. As they pass various animal exhibits, the little boy asks teasing questions, such as "If I were a monkey, would I have to wear a helmet?" Mommy's light-hearted responses reveal, in a bouncy cadence, how animal and human moms alike keep their rambunctious young ones close and safe.

On a visit to the zoo, a little boy imagines what it would be like to be various animals, such as a hippopotamus or a penguin, and listens as his mother explains how all parents keep their young ones safe.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
A safety lesson gracefully, rather than fearfully, told. A young boy is strapped into his safety seat for a ride to the zoo. He begins to wonder how his mom would care for him if he were an animal. If he were a kangaroo, would she have to use a seat belt? "No," says his mom, explaining how a little joey is kept safely in his mama's pouch. As they observe the other animals at the zoo, the boy continues to question his mom. Would they need a stroller if he were a penguin? Would she make him wear a helmet if he were a monkey swinging around in the trees? His mom answers all his questions by explaining how all parents care for their children, though it may be in different ways. The text is written in rhyme and the playful illustrations will appeal to kids. One might quibble over the use of the term "prehensile" since most young readers will stumble over the word, but an adult can pronounce it and explain the meaning, which kids will probably find interesting. 2005, Dutton/Penguin Young Readers Group, Ages 3 to 6.
—Carolyn Mott Ford
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-As a mother buckles her young son safely in for a trip to the zoo, he begins a series of questions challenging the necessity of common safety measures. With playful and imaginative responses using the zoo animals they see in her explanations, his mother assures him that all creatures protect their young. "All kinds of parents everywhere-/wet or dry, low or high,/whether their bodies are large or thin,/covered with scales or fur or skin-/do their best to take good care/of their little ones." The humorous illustrations, including a monkey in a helmet, depict the absurdity of animals employing strollers and holding hands for safety. However, the intended audience will certainly relate to the human mother's unrelenting, though inspired, insistence that her son comply. Although the rhyming text is occasionally awkward and a bit forced, the warm, color-infused illustrations capture both the love of a parent for her child and the silliness of creatures behaving like humans. A colorful and reassuring tale.-Piper L. Nyman, formerly at Fairfield Civic Center Library, CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Firmly belted in the back seat and on the way to the zoo, a little boy wants to know if kangaroos have to wear seat belts, too. He also asks, in upbeat rhyme, if penguins have to ride in strollers, if young monkeys must wear bike helmets, and if hippo mommies hold their youngster's hands as they run to the pool. Mom always has a ready and cheerful response, "A mama hippo has legs, not arms, but she can hiss when she's alarmed." "If anything dangerous wanders his way, she carries and ferries him safely away." Throughout the tour of the zoo, Mom describes the similarities and differences between humans and various animals. The ultimate message, however, is that no matter the species, all parents do their best to care for their young ones. In beautifully blended watercolors with wood-block details, Manning decorates each page with realistic yet fanciful zoo creatures. A perfect read for the pell-mell toddler who is sometimes frustrated by the safety measures imposed by loving adults. (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525473589
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/28/2005
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 633,568
  • Age range: 2 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.28 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 0.42 (d)

Meet the Author

Jane Kurtz

Jane Kurtz is the versatile author of novels, easy readers, and picture books, including Water Hole Waiting.

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