Where Do Baby Kangaroos Come From?
What to Expect When You’re Expecting Joeys: A Guide for Marsupial Parents (and Curious Kids) by Bridget Heos; illustrated by Stephane Jorisch
(Reviewed via digital ARC.)
Congratulations, marsupial parents-to-be! You’re about to meet your tiny bundles of joy. They’re called joeys.”
And so begins the miracle of life… for kangaroos, Tasmanian devils, and koalas. In this fun, tongue-in-cheek introduction to the birth and life cycles of marsupials, kids will learn what a marsupial is and the different ways one can be born and cared for. Whether you’re an expectant Red Kangaroo or an Antechinus with a newborn, you can expect to care for your joey–your baby–and provide it milk and protection during its infant months. Some marsupials have pockets–some have pockets that seal against water or dirt when burrowing, and some have pockets that are upside down or that open in the middle–while others merely tighten their stomach muscles to hold their young. Some marsupials will have as many as twenty babies while others will have one at a time. Did you know that a kangaroo can temporarily stop the growth of an unborn baby inside if the current joey isn’t big enough to leave the pouch? (I sure didn’t!)
Kids will enjoy the question and answer set-up that continues throughout the book: “How will my babies get into my pouch?”, “What if I don’t have a pouch? Help! I’ve looked everywhere!”, and “Will I miss my baby?”. Answers are shared in a smart but conversational tone. While accurate terminology is used–and a glossary is included in back!–everything is explained in everyday terms that kids can understand. In addition to the glossary, more recommended sources (including books and websites) are listed along with a bibliography. (Gotta love a kids’ book with good, accurate, included sources!)
Overall it’s a cute–and different–way to learn about an interesting type of mammal that usually doesn’t get a detailed explanation in classrooms. Curious kids and animal-lovers will not only enjoy the jokes and bright illustrations but will also learn a lot. What to Expect… gets high marks from me. As a kids’ non-fiction picture book, it’s detailed without being overwhelming and informative without being dry. Heck, I learned a bunch myself! If you’re looking for some interesting nature or science books for the house or classroom, add this one to your list.
Bridget Heos is also the author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting Larvae, already published, and I have a feeling that more will follow in what should become a successful series. The marsupials edition will be available on October 1 of this year.
Copyright October 2011
Available as an eBook (at time of publication)
Image from Net Galley (digital press kit)
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