Caldecott Honor winner David Ezra Stein's delightful tale of a baby kangaroo's first hops toward independence is perfect for board book audiences. Joey wants to go exploring, but at first he isn't sure he's ready to leave Mama's safe, warm pouch. Touching on a universal childhood experience, this sweet tale celebrates trying new things.
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Caldecott Honor winner David Ezra Stein's delightful tale of a baby kangaroo's first hops toward independence is perfect for board book audiences. Joey wants to go exploring, but at first he isn't sure he's ready to leave Mama's safe, warm pouch. Touching on a universal childhood experience, this sweet tale celebrates trying new things.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Stein (Leaves) captures intuitively the way youngsters of every species explore the world around them. Readers will recognize baby kangaroo Joey's antics as he ventures cautiously out of his mother's pouch, is startled by an animal he's never seen before and leaps back to safety, crying, “Pouch!” In Stein's well-paced spreads, Joey goes one hop further every time (“two hops to the tall grass,” “three hops to the little hill”), encountering a bee, then a rabbit, then a bird, all drawn in Stein's warm paintings, accented by expressive, scribbly crayon outlines, which convey tons of movement amid Joey's every bounce. At last he encounters another baby kangaroo, and the two startle each other. “Wait!” Joey says, as they giggle together. “You were afraid of me, too?” When their mothers offer their pouches, the newly independent friends wave them off: “No, thanks.” Joey's mother is patient, the animals he meets are friendly and clearly harmless (very young readers will understand this even if Joey doesn't), and his new friendship makes for a satisfying conclusion. Ages 3–5. (Sept.)
Horn Book
Stein's minimal, to-the-point text and breezy mixed-media illustrations convey Joey's energy and swing of feelings.
Stein...once again shows his talent for creating a fresh story in a few well chosen words and illustrating it with humor and verve. starred review
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Like so many youngsters, young Joey stays inside his kangaroo mother's pouch, close to her; but one day he decides that he wants to get out into the world. After two hops, he encounters a bee. "Pouch," he says, hopping right back in. Soon he hops off again. Each time he ventures further, but after meeting a rabbit, then a bird, and asking, "Who are you?" he demands to be back in the pouch again. On hopping five hops out, however, he meets another little kangaroo. At first both demand, "Pouch!" but then they realize that they are both the same, and hop on happily together. "Pouch? said the mamas. No thanks," say the kids. Stein uses china marker, watercolors, and water-soluble crayon to add emotion to his sketchy depiction of characters and the natural environment, casual but just naturalistic enough. There is a freedom of movement in the single and across the double pages as Joey goes out exploring his new world. His command, "Pouch!" is freely calligraphed in black and his repeated "Who are you?" in contrasting white. Youngsters should be able to identify with Joey in the fun of the simple story. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—Stein continues to create deceptively simple yet very affecting picture books. One day, little Joey peeks out of Mama Kangaroo's pouch and says, "I want to hop!" Each time he leaves his safe haven, he takes more steps, meets a strange new animal, yells out "Pouch!," and hops back to his mama to hide. But when the final animal is another little joey who also yells "Pouch!," the two realize there is nothing to fear, have a good laugh, and hop off together. When their mamas offer their pouches, the youngsters say, "No, thanks." The marker, watercolor, and crayon illustrations are rendered in Stein's trademark simple, scribbly, loosely drawn style. The increasing distances Joey hops from his mother are clearly represented with increased page turns and use of perspective. Stein's choice of easily identifiable animals (a bee, a rabbit, and a bird) is particularly apropos, giving the book universality that it might otherwise lack. The repetition will appeal to the intended audience, as will the chance to identify each animal Joey meets. The subtle sophistication of the story gives it broad appeal: while it could be used one-on-one with toddlers, older preschoolers would enjoy it in storytimes, and the minimalistic text would be effective with beginning readers as well.—Amy Lilien-Harper, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT
Kirkus Reviews
With each vivacious bounce, a baby kangaroo seeks independence-bit by bit. Ready, more or less, to venture forth from his mama's pouch, this tenacious tyke now explores the world around him. With a few hops, Joey greets each creature he meets with a forceful, "who are you?" Their one-word responses alarm him; Joey quickly cries "Pouch!" as he returns to his mother's side. When Joey meets another joey, though, he gains courage with his newfound friend. Punchy dialogue zings during the kangaroo's brief interactions, and repetition successfully accelerates the story. Succinct phrases maintain playful pacing and provide a fluid read-aloud. The bold, white hand-lettered dialogue predominately placed against the vignettes expresses the toddler's fledgling growth. Rich colors, mostly in orangey-browns, golden yellows and rustic greens, evoke an earthy atmosphere. The background surroundings seamlessly blend, maintaining focus on the central characters, and soft curves convey maternal love as Joey's mother supports his maturity. Warm and inviting, this buoyant tale is hopping good fun. (Picture book. 2-5)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101655580
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 3/15/2012
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: NOOK Kids
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 713,588
  • Age range: 1 - 2 Years
  • File size: 12 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

David Ezra Stein (www.davidezra.com) received a Caldecott Honor for Interrupting Chicken, a Charlotte Zolotow Honor for Pouch! and the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award for Leaves, which was also a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, a Kirkus Reviews Editor's Choice and a School Library Journal Best Book. He also wrote and illustrated The Nice Book and Monster Hug! He lives in Kew Gardens, New York.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2013

    I babysat last night and the little girl insisted on reading thi

    I babysat last night and the little girl insisted on reading this book multiple times. The best part was that I never got bored reading it! I loved the illustrations and the storyline has a cute twist too. The girl especially loved naming all of the animals!

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  • Posted July 14, 2011

    My son loves this book!

    I read this almost every day to my 20 month old son. He loves to hop when the kangaroo in the book hops. It doesn't have too many words, so you can fill in part of the story or have your child do it. I also like the message of the story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

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