What to Expect When You're Expecting Joeys: A Guide for Marsupial Parents (and Curious Kids)


Congratulations, marsupial parents-to-be! You're about to meet your tiny bundles of joy. They're called joeys. Some are as small as a grain of rice when they're born! Read this book to find out how many babies to expect, how to help them find your pouch, and what those little joeys will do in there all day long. Whether you're a possum or an opossum, a kangaroo or a wallaby, a koala or even a shrieking Tasmanian devil, you'll find answers to all your parenting questions here.

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Congratulations, marsupial parents-to-be! You're about to meet your tiny bundles of joy. They're called joeys. Some are as small as a grain of rice when they're born! Read this book to find out how many babies to expect, how to help them find your pouch, and what those little joeys will do in there all day long. Whether you're a possum or an opossum, a kangaroo or a wallaby, a koala or even a shrieking Tasmanian devil, you'll find answers to all your parenting questions here.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Cathi I. White
Animals having babies is not unusual. Most animals carry their babies for several weeks or maybe a few months, but marsupials are different. A southern brown bandicoot only carries its babies for 12 days. Marsupials also have the tiniest babies in the world! Some are very tiny, as small as a grain of rice, like the Virginia opossum. Twenty baby opossums can fit in a teaspoon! Some marsupials have pouches, such as kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, and wombats. They have only one baby they carry for months. Red kangaroos have the biggest marsupial baby; it is the size of a jelly bean when born. But then the baby grows inside the mother's pouch where he drinks milk consistently. When a mother's pouch has several babies, they will stay there for a couple of months. If there is only one baby, it may stay for five months, like the red kangaroo. When the joey comes out, it is considered the joey's second birth. These fascinating facts, as well as others, are specified in this unique book where it is written in question and answer form. The author gives many details about marsupial babies and what happens to them inside and outside their mother's pouch. Children of all ages will be thrilled as they read the intriguing information. The illustrations are vivid and show the playfulness of the marsupial, giving insight to their world. There is a section in the back of the book for further reading and websites. In addition, the reader can download free educational resources by using the publisher's website. The author's distinctive way of writing makes the book fun, delightful, and captivating for the reader. This enlightening book would be a great resource for any elementary classroom. Reviewer: Cathi I. White
School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—If marsupial mamas-to-be were literate, they'd appreciate this guide to the birth and care of their joeys, called "pinkies" when they're first born. Though the author has written the book as if she were talking to them, the real intended audience is children, who will delight in the humor contained in the text as well as in the colorful illustrations of animals with animated facial expressions. Presented in a question-and-answer format, the book addresses such questions as, "What if I don't have a pouch? Help! I've looked everywhere!" or, "Should I make the pouch with paper or cloth?" Each question is answered with a blend of humor and factual information, and children will be able to discern, then empathize with, the mother's concern about her offspring. Heos explains vocabulary terms specific to marsupials, such as "cloaca," "joey," and "mob," and includes a glossary that defines these and other terms associated with marsupials. Teachers using this book have the opportunity to explain what anthropomorphism means and show how it applies to the critters in this book, then distinguish between which aspects of it are true to a marsupial's nature and which ones are human attributes.—Maggie Chase, Boise State University, ID
Kirkus Reviews

Directed at marsupial parents of all kinds, from kangaroos and koalas to possums and bandicoots, this tongue-in-cheek guide to joey development takes it step by step, from the birth of your pinkie to where your baby goes after it leaves the pouch.

Never once dropping the pretense that this is written for pouched mammals, this manages to be both entertaining and informative, defining marsupial and covering gestation periods, size and number of young, the pinkie's trip from cloaca to pouch or pouch substitute, feeding and further development. Heos' question-and-answer text also weaves in information about where animals live and what they eat, but informally—just enough to whet curiosity and to send readers to the solid suggestions for further reading and websites. She uses appropriate vocabulary, making meanings clear in context and also providing a glossary. Jorisch's painted pen-and-ink sketches show lively, lightly anthropomorphized animals and add considerably to the humor. How can readers resist the wombat checking out her pouch or the honey-possum love fest? Both parents and offspring have personality.

This companion to What to Expect When You're Expecting Larvae (2011) is enormously appealing, an offbeat approach to learning about the natural world that targets exactly the stage young readers most want to know about. (glossary, selected bibliography) (Informational picture book. 6-11)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761358596
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/1/2011
  • Series: Expecting Animal Babies Series
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Lexile: 660L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.88 (w) x 9.23 (h) x 0.31 (d)

Meet the Author

Bridget Heos is the author of 13 young adult nonfiction books. Her first picture book, What to Expect When You're Expecting Larvae: A Guide for Insect Parents (and Curious Children), comes out in March of 2011. It is illustrated by Stéphane Jorisch. Bridget lives in Kansas City with her husband and three sons.

Stéphane Jorisch is an illustrator, whose imaginative work has won many awards, including the prestigious Governor General's Award for Children's Illustration in Canada. His works are produced in watercolor, gouache, and also pen and ink, following in the footsteps of his father who illustrated comic strips for newspapers in Europe. In addition to his books for young people, Stéphane also illustrates for magazines and has created designs for the renowned Cirque de Soleil. Stéphane was born in Brussels and grew up in Lachine, Québec. He now lives in Montreal with his girlfriend and their three children.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended

    My Review: The author gives a step by step guide on marsupial parents. Marsupials gives birth to very tiny babies that sometimes grow in a pouch, like Kangaroos, Virginia opossum, Wallaby, Koalas to name a few. The Kangaroos are mostly found in South America and Australia. The Virginia opossum are the only marsupials found in North America.
    Some gives birth to more than 20 but not all survive. She goes on to explain about the pouches most marsupials have to carry their babies in. And not all marsupials have a pouch and not all pouches open at the top.
    The book is based on question and answer like, should I make the pouch with paper or cloth and will where will the older babies go when they move out of the pouch? Everything you need to know about marsupial parents and their newborn kids.

    I don't know if 4 years old will understand what a marsupial is or will be patience enough to sit and read this book, but I will recommend it for children age 8 and up and classroom teaching.

    FTC Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion in any way.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2011

    This is an adorably zany, funtastic book all about what marsupial parents need to know about their joeys!

    Everyone gets a little excited when they know they are going to have a baby, but what DO you DO when you are expecting a joey? Most marsupials live in South America and Australia, but the old down home Virginia opossum can be found in North America. Marsupials are mammals and everyone knows that "they all drink milk from their mothers as babies and have fur or hair on their bodies." Now, back to the joeys now that that information has been given out. When your joey is born (just to make you even more confused than you already are) it is called a pinkie. If you want to know if it will look more like Mom or Dad, it won't at first, but it will later if you really Koala-wanna know.

    Take note all southern brown bandicoots, Julie Creek dunnarts, Virginia opossums, and red kangaroos you're going to find out all kinds of information. You'll learn how long pinkies will stay in Mom's belly, how big they are, and how they get to the pouch. Koalas , wombats, marsupial moles, and other underground critters will want to know a bit more about the pouch. Ummm ... which way does it face? Up or down? Sideways? There is hardly a stone unturned in this book and you'll also learn how many babies to expect, what will happen if you don't have a pouch, what those joeys are up to in that pouch, what happens when they get bigger, and things like where your joey goes when it leaves home.

    This is an adorably zany, funtastic book all about what marsupial parents need to know about their joeys. The humorous, conversational approach to learning about marsupial pinkies and joeys makes this book easy to read while absorbing information at the same time. There will be more than a few giggles when children read lines like "Aww. Wook at da wittle pinkie!" In this book a little silliness seems to go a long way and makes the material approachable and interesting. The illustrations are very appealing and mesh well with the format. Each section is prefaced by a question a marsupial parent might be wondering about. In the back of the book is a glossary, a select bibliography, and additional recommended book and website resources to explore. There are free downloadable educational resources on the publisher's website.

    This book courtesy of the publisher.

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  • Posted July 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Kangaroos, Koalas, Wallabies, Wombats and More

    This book will explain to you nearly everything you have ever wanted to know about marsupial parents and their newborn kids. To start, one must know which animals are marsupials. Most all know about koalas and kangaroos. There are others: possums, opossums, wallabies, wombats and Tasmanian devils are a few. All live in Australia or South America, except one. The Virginia Opossum lives in North America where people often call them giant rats, despite not being a rodent.
    The book goes on to explain about the pouches most marsupials have to carry their babies.. How do the babies, called joeys, get into the pouch? What do joeys look like? What happens to the joeys if mother does not have a pouch? While in the pouch, what do the joeys do every day? How long do they remain in their mother's pouch? Will the mother miss her joeys once they leave the pouch? That is not all. The book will also explain what the joeys do, when they are no longer joeys, and on their own.
    This is a fascinating book. I never knew the Tasmanian devil was a marsupial or that their joeys screech, bite, pull, and generally fight for food. I picture them twirling in fast circles, like the cartoon, trying to get the most food from mamma. This is not what happens, the twirling in circles part, but it is funny to imagine this happening.
    Marsupials are amazing mammals. Not all have a pouch and not all pouches open at the top. How do the joeys stay in that pouch if it opens at the bottom? I picture them hanging on to the opening with one hand, while holding a bottle or a book with the other, calmly drinking or reading as mom moves around. That is not what happens, of course, and the book explains what these joeys really do to hang on.
    The pictures do a great job illustrating these concepts and more. Some are nicely shaded and layered while others are bright and pop off the page. All of the illustrations are fun and help our understanding of these wondrous babies. The amount of information in this small book is astounding. There is also a glossary and a bibliography. What to Expect When You Are Expecting Joeys . . . is a good book for kids that are homeschooled, as well as for those that are not. Even adults will enjoy learning about marsupials and their joeys.

    Note: received from netgalley, courtesy of the publisher.

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