Young Kangaroo

Overview

On the grassy plains of Australia, a kangaroo is born. Within the safety of his mother's warm pouch he slowly becomes aware of all the different sights and sounds and smells around him. Warily poking his head out for the first time, he is startled by the bright light of the sun. Later he is soothed by the soft glow of the stars at night.

One day he tumbles out of the pouch and is surprised - and a little frightened - to find himself standing on the ground on his own two feet! ...

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Overview

On the grassy plains of Australia, a kangaroo is born. Within the safety of his mother's warm pouch he slowly becomes aware of all the different sights and sounds and smells around him. Warily poking his head out for the first time, he is startled by the bright light of the sun. Later he is soothed by the soft glow of the stars at night.

One day he tumbles out of the pouch and is surprised - and a little frightened - to find himself standing on the ground on his own two feet! But he is still a very small and young kangaroo and discovers that, although he is growing fast, he needs his mother very much.

This charming yet simple story, long out of print, by one of America's most beloved children's book authors has been given new life here with illustrations by Jennifer Dewey.

A tiny kangaroo is born and moves into his mother's pouch, where he grows big enough to be interested in the world around him long before he actually leaves her pouch to investigate further.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The author of Goodnight Moon blends an endearing nature story--illustrated in delicate, two-color drawings--with facts about these exotic animals. Ages 2-6. (July)
Carolyn Phelan
Long out of print, this newly illustrated book tells the story of a little kangaroo, from just after his birth until he's old enough to hop out of his mother's pouch. While the text tells a tale of danger and loneliness and love, it also matter-of-factly tells a great deal about kangaroos and how they grow. With a keen understanding of what's important to children, Brown doesn't simply report on the joey's physical development, she re-creates sensory and emotional experiences that mirror those of children without making the young kangaroo into a little fur child. Dewey uses color pencils to create pleasing illustrations featuring softly shaded natural forms in spring greens and tawny browns. An interesting combination of fact and drama, this picture book would make an unusual but satisfying choice for reading aloud. A natural for primary grade classes studying kangaroos.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781562824099
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 9/30/1993
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 40

Meet the Author

Margaret Wise Brown
What child hasn’t been lulled to sleep -- or at least comforted -- by the gentle rhymes of Margaret Wise Brown’s classic Goodnight Moon? Brown, a former teacher, believed that very young children could be fascinated in the simple pleasures of the world around them, and created some of the most enduring and beloved children’s books of all time.

Biography

When Margaret Wise Brown began to write for young children, most picture books were written by illustrators, whose training and talents lay mainly in the visual arts. Brown, the author of Goodnight Moon, was the first picture-book author to achieve recognition as a writer, and the first, according to historian Barbara Bader, "to make the writing of picture books an art."

After graduating college in 1932, Brown's first ambition was to write literature for adults; but when she entered a program for student teachers in New York, she was thrilled by the experience of working with young children, and inspired by the program's progressive leader, the education reformer Lucy Sprague Mitchell. Mitchell held that stories for very young children should be grounded in "the here and now" rather than nonsense or fantasy. For children aged two to five, she thought, real experience was magical enough without embellishments.

Few children's authors had attempted to write specifically for so young an audience, but Brown quickly proved herself gifted at the task. She was appointed editor of a new publishing firm devoted to children's books, where she cultivated promising new writers and illustrators, helped develop innovations like the board book, and became, as her biographer Leonard S. Marcus notes, "one of the central figures of a period now considered the golden age of the American picture book."

Though Brown was intensely interested in modernist writers like Gertrude Stein (whom she persuaded to write a children's book, The World Is Round), it was a medieval ballad that provided the inspiration for The Runaway Bunny (1942), illustrated by Clement Hurd. The Runaway Bunny was Brown's first departure from the here-and-now style of writing, and became one of her most popular books.

Goodnight Moon, another collaboration with Hurd, appeared in 1947. The story of a little rabbit's bedtime ritual, its rhythmic litany of familiar objects placed it somewhere between the nursery rhyme and the here-and-now story. At first it was only moderately successful, but its popularity gradually climbed, and by 2000, it was among the top 40 best-selling children's books of all time.

The postwar baby boom helped propel sales of Brown's many picture books, including Two Little Trains (1949) and The Important Book (1949). After the author died in 1952, at the age of 42, many of her unpublished manuscripts were illustrated and made into books, but Brown remains best known for Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny.

More people recognize those titles than recognize the name of their author, but Margaret Wise Brown wouldn't have minded. "It didn't seem important that anyone wrote them," she once said of the books she read as a child. "And it still doesn't seem important. I wish I didn't have ever to sign my long name on the cover of a book and I wish I could write a story that would seem absolutely true to the child who hears it and to myself." For millions of children who have settled down to hear her stories, she did just that.

Good To Know

When Goodnight Moon first appeared, the New York Public Library declined to buy it (an internal reviewer dismissed it as too sentimental). The book sold fairly well until 1953, when sales began to climb, perhaps because of word-of-mouth recommendations by parents. More than 4 million copies have now been sold. The New York Public Library finally placed its first order for the book in 1973.

If you look closely at the bookshelves illustrated in Goodnight Moon, you'll see that one of the little rabbit's books is The Runaway Bunny. One of three framed pictures on the walls shows a scene from the same book.

Brown's death was a stunning and sad surprise. The author had had an emergency appendectomy in France while on a book tour, which was successful; but when she did a can-can kick days later to demonstrate her good health to her doctor, it caused a fatal embolism.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Golden MacDonald, Juniper Sage, Timothy Hay
    1. Date of Birth:
      May 23, 1910
    2. Place of Birth:
      Brooklyn, N.Y.
    1. Date of Death:
      November 13, 1952
    2. Place of Death:
      Nice, France

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