Kangaroo’s Out of This World Restaurant
Written & Illustrated by Eva M. Sakmar-Sullivan
In the Australian Outback, Kangaroo wallows in misery and complains she’s worthless. Why Kangaroo feels this way is unclear, but wise old Koala hobbles into the picture with his cane and gives Kangaroo advice: “Everyone has something to offer. You just have to find it.” All Kangaroo can do is jump, so she does, higher and higher until she reaches the moon. When she lands on the moon’s surface, she’s delighted to discover it’s made of cheese and tastes great, too. She loads up her pouch with cheese and brings it back to Earth to share. Her furry friends love the moon cheese so much that Kangaroo bounces them back to the moon for more, and she opens up a restaurant (hence the title). She also becomes a taxi service, transporting her friends whenever they have a hankering for this out-of-world snack. Kangaroo has found her calling and her true happiness.
This didactic tale relays a positive message for the first grade and under crowd, but Sakmar-Sullivan’s strengths really lie in her art: big shapes and bright, bold colors that pop off the page. Inside the back cover, there’s a full-page spread, which identifies all featured creatures as native to Australia, and the author suggests a reading activity (i.e. find the platypus, the dingo, the numbat, etc.) I do think her impressionable audience could have benefited from another extra, though, explaining that the moon is actually made of rock, not cheese.
Author’s website: www.stardolphin.com