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Finding Home

Overview

A remarkable story of survival.

The creators of A MOTHER'S JOURNEY and LITTLE LOST BAT, Sandra Markle and Alan Marks team up again to chronicle the challenges faced by a mother koala: protecting herself and her joey from a raging bushfire, and finding food and a new home after their home range is destroyed. Based on a true story.

Back matter includes facts about koalas, an author's note about Cinders, the ...

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Overview

A remarkable story of survival.

The creators of A MOTHER'S JOURNEY and LITTLE LOST BAT, Sandra Markle and Alan Marks team up again to chronicle the challenges faced by a mother koala: protecting herself and her joey from a raging bushfire, and finding food and a new home after their home range is destroyed. Based on a true story.

Back matter includes facts about koalas, an author's note about Cinders, the real-life koala that survived two bushfires, and resources for learning more about koalas and their habitat.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
In New South Wales, Australia, a mother koala and her joey manage to escape a bush fire, but must find eucalyptus leaves to survive. Unfortunately, there are dogs and people near the trees. The people do not bother the pair, but seem to protect her until she finds a forest where she and her joey can live safely again. The simple but moving story is based on the life of a real koala. Marks's sensitive visualizations are rendered in watercolors, pen, and pencil. He floods the double-page scenes with the transparent paints for emotional affect, like the reddish yellows of the bushfires and the restful blues of the leafy sanctuaries at night. The koalas are drawn naturalistically with affection, while the humans are indistinct shapes. The visual narrative clearly and sympathetically portrays the problem of a "wild" animal in a shrinking habitat. Notes add information on koalas and on the factual basis for the story. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

Gr 2-4- Markle surmises what the days immediately following two bushfires might have been like for a female koala and her joey. The story begins on a spring day when "the air smells of eucalyptus leaves and smoke." With her joey on her back, the mother koala climbs and escapes the fire but afterward finds her home destroyed and no food left for miles. Realistic watercolor illustrations depict the intensity of the fire and the skeletal trees that remain as the koala travels through moonlight for hours, sniffing for food. The trek leads to a swamp mahogany tree, an encounter with a pet dog, and more civilization than wild animals prefer. The language and illustrations throughout feel as gentle and reverent as the representation of the gathering suburban crowd, painted in muted colors that suggest respect for the koala survivors. Suitable for reading aloud or independently, this story of one female's risky journey makes a good choice for animal, survival, or Australian studies.-Julie R. Ranelli, Queen Anne's County Free Library, Stevensville, MD

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The creators of the award-winning penguin trek, A Mother's Journey (2005), now trace the odyssey of a koala parent with the same attention to detail and broadly appealing illustrations. Subsisting solely on the leaves of eucalyptus (did you know that there are different kinds?), a New South Wales koala and her large joey are forced to search for a new feeding ground after a bush fire leaves all the trees stripped. The trip takes them into human territory. Punctuated by irresistible close-ups of the mother's face, Marks's impressionistic watercolors follow the two as they weather a dog's attack, then resolutely try to ignore the gathering crowds of curious people that trail along. Ultimately, having crossed a highway on which traffic has been stopped (the whole episode is loosely based on a true story), the koalas find a new patch of forest. Markle tells the tale in measured, sensitive, carefully non-anthropomorphic prose. Capped by an explanatory afterword, extra koala facts and several recommended print and web resources, this makes another fine choice for budding naturalists to read alone or aloud. (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580891233
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/28/2010
  • Edition description: New
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.70 (h) x 0.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Sandra Markle has written over seventy nonfiction books for young readers, including her Growing Up Wild and Outside and Inside series. Her books have won awards from the Boston Globe/Horn Book, NSTA/CBC, ABA, and ALA. She lives in Florida.
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