Children's LiteratureA koala and her joey, attached to her back, see many animals in the New South Wales endangered eucalyptus forestbirds such as lorikeets, rainbow bee-eaters and eastern rosellas; male koalas fighting for territory; an echidna burying itself to avoid a carpet python; and a family of wallabies grazing nearby. Told in present tense, the text ends with the joey taking his first steps along a branch to sample a leaf for himself. While the book imparts plenty of information, it is a dry march through a typical day in this location, with little lively detail to enchant the reader. Naturalistic, full-color paintings and a picture glossary identification chart in the endmatter clarify which animal is which. An endnote explains why the eucalyptus forest is endangered and why steps must be taken to protect it, with a web site to gain further information. Report writers could glean much about koala behaviors from the embedded information, but the book is more about the animal ecosystem in this location. 2001, Soundprints, $15.95 and $5.95. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Susan Hepler
School Library Journal - School Library JournalK-Gr 2-Readers follow an animal through its waking time, seeing the flora and fauna that are part of its habitat and watching its daily activity until it goes to sleep. In Koala, children are introduced to a joey as he makes his first, tentative forays away from his mother. In Nagda's book, a two-year-old snow leopard has recently left her mother and searches for food. Handsome realistic illustrations share equal prominence with the texts and help readers visualize the ecosystem about which they are reading. A double-page foldout spread at the end of each book identifies the plants and animals that have been introduced. Both authors write clearly and the "day in the life of" pattern makes the narratives enjoyable as well as informative. McKinnon uses a colorful palette in his vivid illustrations of the eucalyptus forest and its denizens. Kratter employs earth tones and subdued colors in his pictures of the Himalayan mountainside. His art makes it easy to see how the snow leopard's coat provides camouflage. While there is no dearth of material about animal habitats, these titles will be welcomed as solid additions to science collections.-Louise L. Sherman, formerly at Anna C. Scott School, Leonia, NJ Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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