There's an Opossum in My Backyard

Overview

A baby opossum falls off her mother's back and finds herself in a strange new world—a suburban backyard. As the Green family and the opossum become acquainted with each other, the adventurous creature learns to sneak food from the dog bowl, avoid capture by an owl, and make friends with other wildlife along the way. From the team who created the popular urban wildlife guide The Raccoon Next Door comes a story introducing one of California's most adorable and intriguing critters....

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Overview

A baby opossum falls off her mother's back and finds herself in a strange new world—a suburban backyard. As the Green family and the opossum become acquainted with each other, the adventurous creature learns to sneak food from the dog bowl, avoid capture by an owl, and make friends with other wildlife along the way. From the team who created the popular urban wildlife guide The Raccoon Next Door comes a story introducing one of California's most adorable and intriguing critters.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Nancy Garhan Attebury
When a baby opossum falls off its mother's back, it begins a life of adventure in the Green's backyard. Readers can follow the crafty little opossum as it searches for food and shelter and has encounters with a dog, a cat, a raccoon, and an owl. During the owl encounter, information about why and how the opossum "plays dead" is given in an informative, but story-like way. In one incident, the opossum causes quite a commotion when it enters the Green's house via the doggy door. Fortunately, the Greens are compassionate and allow the critter to go about day-to-day life in their backyard. Some facts are worded as if in sidebar fashion. In these statements, the tense changes, even though the look of the text does not. Nevertheless, this easy-to-follow tale is filled with fun and learning. The book would be a welcome addition to science lessons and for independent reading by children who are interested in animals and nature. Excellent realistic watercolor illustrations add to the text, while the layout of text and pictures is pleasing. Classrooms and libraries would do well to make this book available. Reviewer: Nancy Garhan Attebury
School Library Journal

Gr 2-4- Through a series of vignettes, readers learn about a year in the life of a lost baby opossum that lives in Nathan's backyard. Bogue does a terrific job of blending facts about all of the animals that enter the story-an owl, snakes, and other creatures. The family members are great stewards of nature-while they observe the opossum, they never try to rescue it or interact with it (except when it makes its way into their house). Todd's illustrations are serviceable, but are full of angled perspectives that can detract from the well-written text. Still, children will enjoy the story and be surprised at how much they've learned about this animal.-Susan E. Murray, Glendale Public Library, AZ

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
When a baby opossum falls off its mother's back, it's the start of a suburban backyard adventure for the little marsupial-and for the Green family who owns the yard. The opossum learns to take care of itself, using its instincts and adaptations to fend off predators and enemies, foraging for food and even finding a cozy spot for a nest in the garage. Throughout, Bogue seamlessly weaves fascinating facts about the only marsupial native to North America. For instance, when an opossum faints, or plays dead, a gland in its tail produces a scent that fools predators into thinking it's dead. Todd's watercolor-and-ink illustrations will familiarize young readers with the world from an opossum's point of view. While his depiction of the Green family is somewhat stilted, the opossum is rendered in impressive detail, right down to each toe and claw. Backmatter includes more information about opossums, as well as a book and website list for further reading. A good starting place for those curious about the opossums in their own backyards. (Picture book/nonfiction. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781597140591
  • Publisher: Heyday Books
  • Publication date: 6/1/2007
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 1,475,810
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.12 (w) x 10.92 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Meet the Author

Chuck Todd:
Illustrator and visual journalist Chuck Todd is the presentation editor at the Contra Costa Times. An award-winning newspaper illustrator, his artwork has been exhibited at the Lindsay Wildlife Museum in addition to other venues across the west coast. A portfolio of Chuck's work can be seen at www.chucktodd.net.
Gary Bogue:
Gary Bogue was curator of the Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek, California, from 1967 to 1979. For thirty-two years he has written a popular daily column on pets, wildlife, and environmental issues for the Contra Costa Times. He lives in Benicia, California, with his wife, two cats, a parrot, and a cockatoo.

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