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Roly Poly Pangolin
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Roly Poly Pangolin

4.0 1
by Anna Dewdney

Roly Poly, very small, doesn't like new things at all.

Meet Roly Poly Pangolin-a little pangolin who'd rather stick close to his mama instead of facing anything unfamiliar. Whether it's a line of ants, a friendly monkey, or a loud noise, Roly Poly runs the other way. Then he hears something that really scares him. So he does what all pangolins do when they're


Roly Poly, very small, doesn't like new things at all.

Meet Roly Poly Pangolin-a little pangolin who'd rather stick close to his mama instead of facing anything unfamiliar. Whether it's a line of ants, a friendly monkey, or a loud noise, Roly Poly runs the other way. Then he hears something that really scares him. So he does what all pangolins do when they're frightened-he rolls up into a tiny ball. But Roly Poly is surprised when he finally peeks out, because another ball is peeking back . . . it's a small pangolin just like him!

Anna Dewdney has created another irresistible character to reassure children about the world around them.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
As in her Llama Llama books, Dewdney again taps into common toddler insecurities. This story stars Roly Poly, a young pangolin (a scaly, endangered mammal) who is very timid when it comes to the outside world (“Roly Poly, very small,/ doesn't like new things at all”). After running away from a furry animal who wants to play, he is frightened by a “teeny tiny” voice calling to him, and accidentally discovers pangolins' trademark defense mechanism. He trips and rolls himself into a ball for protection as he careens down a hill (“The world's outside/ but he's within—/ Roly Poly Pangolin”). Peeking out, however, he spies another small pangolin, and suddenly he's “not so frightened, after all,” as he frolics with his new friend and the friendly monkeylike creature who appeared earlier. Dewdney's artwork, rendered on rough-textured canvas, feels less polished than her earlier books, but it readily transmits her protagonist's emotions. The story retains Dewdney's familiar rhyming couplets, and while this hero—perhaps by nature of his timidity—lacks some of Llama Llama's zip, his nervousness will be widely recognizable to readers. Ages 2-up. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Lois Rubin Gross
Readers who love the "Llama Llama" books as read-alouds—and who does not?—will adore Dewdney's new offering. The deep red cover with gold lettering and great shelf appeal invites readers to sample the book's delightful rhyme with a repetitive phrase—"Roly poly very small, Doesn't like new things at all"—that young children will joyfully parrot. Roly Poly has many of the same fears as real children. He does not like new foods, is hesitant about making new friends, and worries that big sounds mean monsters are stalking him. He clings to his mother for security, but he gradually discovers that it is more fun to experience the world with a new friend or two. Because pangolins will be new to a young audience (this reviewer certainly had never heard of one), this book will open a conversation about the unique creature, its native habitats, and the fact that humankind is endangering its home. The pictures are adorable and Roly Poly looks like a scared toddler as he flees from an imaginary monster. A baby monkey may be an unlikely friend for this creature, but he certainly is a charming playmate! The pleasing large print features color and typeface changes for emphasis. A postscript includes information about this rare mammal and how readers can donate to pangolin-saving research. Make room, Llama and His Mama! Poly Poly is ready to enchant story time audiences. Reviewer: Lois Rubin Gross
School Library Journal
PreS-K—In this short rhyming story, a small pangolin is afraid of new experiences, including meeting other animals. When he hears an unexpected sound, he runs off in a panic, trips, and rolls into a tight ball to keep himself safe. But when he is brave enough to take a peek at what made the noise, he finds another rolled-into-a-ball animal just like himself. Roly Poly discovers that making new friends can be fun and is ready to explore his world. As with her "Llama Llama" books (Viking), Dewdney has created a lovable childlike character with whom most preschoolers can easily identify. Textured full-bleed pages interspersed with some small action drawings on white space convey movement. Expressive close-up illustrations aptly portray Roly Poly's feelings of insecurity and happiness. A note at the back of the book gives a brief explanation of these endangered animals and a Web site to find out more about pangolins. This charming book will be a welcome addition to most collections.—Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT
Kirkus Reviews
Roly Poly is a pangolin, a small, endangered mammal covered with scales found mainly in Africa, China and Southeast Asia. Pangolins roll up in tight balls to sleep or protect themselves, which Roly Poly does quite a bit, but real pangolins are also supposed to be expert problem solvers. Roly Poly, however, has a thing or two to learn in this area. "Roly Poly, very small, / doesn't like new things at all," is the verse repeated throughout the book when Roly Poly encounters a new food, new place or new friend. He reacts by either clinging to his mama or rolling up in a ball. Finally Roly Poly encounters another timid, balled-up pangolin, and together they find strength in numbers. The sentiment is easy to empathize with, but Roly's efforts to change are somewhat passive, and readers might wish for a more heroic act of courage on his part. Dewdney's functional illustrations present themselves cheerfully enough, but the textured green-and-brown palette becomes monotonous. Roly, alas, is no Llama Llama. (note on pangolins) (Picture book. 2-5)

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
10.10(w) x 10.30(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
3 - 5 Years

Meet the Author

Anna Dewdney is the author/ illustrator of the bestselling Llama Llama picture books, including Llama Llama Misses Mama. She is the mother of two away-at-school daughters and lives with two stay-at-home dogs in southern Vermont.

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Roly Poly Pangolin 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Lori-at-HMS-Library More than 1 year ago
This book caught my eye in a store display with the new Llama Llama book by the same author. As a school librarian, I'm always on the look out for new books that go beyond the story. With this book, I read the story to preschoolers, kindergarteners and first graders and prefaced the story by explaining that this fiction book has real information about pangolins. The students were told to listen carefully to what Roly Poly does and decide what is real and what is pretend. At the end of the book, there is an information page that I used to make Ten Questions to check their understanding. Successful lesson for all three grades and a great starting point to introduce lesser known animals found around the world.