Archive for August 28, 2017


Written by Claire Saxby
Illustrated by Julie Vivas

This cute new read aloud follows the routine of a young male koala. Readers learn about how a mother separates from the older joey in preparation for a newcomer. He must find his own tree, as older males may have already claimed the one he wants. Territorial claims can turn violent. The young male must also find a place plentiful with the eucalyptus leaves he will be eating. Koalas are so secure in the trees that they can even sleep through storms, with fur that protects them from rain. When startled or frightened, they can move fast on their hind legs like kangaroos. Lyrical text enhances the reader’s love for the gentle animal.

Meticulous and striking illustrations show the reader where the koalas live.

Filled with important facts for young readers, this would be great for classrooms learning about Australia, marsupials, or unusual animals and environments. It would also be great for parents just wanting to share with their kids.

  • KoalaTitle: Koala
  • Author: Claire Saxby
  • Illustrator: Julie Vivas
  • Published: Candlewick Press, September 5, 2017
  • Reviewer: Sue Poduska
  • Format: Hardcover, 32 pages
  • Grade Level: PreK to 3
  • Genre: Creative Nonfiction, Nature
  • ISBN: 978-0-7636-9481-4
  • Extras: Endnotes, Index

Pattan’s Pumpkin

Written by Chitra Sounder
Illustrated by Frané Lessac

Great flood stories, as well as new beginning stories, are almost universally present in cultures throughout the world. This great twist on the flood comes directly from the Irula people of southern India.

In this version, a man named Pattan is growing a pumpkin, which turns out to be so large that even the elephants can’t see over the top. The original story had a bottle gourd, but the author changed it to the more familiar pumpkin. When the rains begin, Pattan harvests the pumpkin and hollows it out with the help of his wife, Kanni, and all the animals. They ride inside the pumpkin as a sort of ark, along with grain, seeds and herbs. Kanni sings lullabies to the baby animals to soothe and help pass the time. When the rain stops, they come to rest on the plains. The Irula people trace their ancestry to Pattan and Kanni, They still raise pumpkins to this day.

The author has deep roots in India and brings that flavor to the story. The illustrations have a folk art feel that goes well with this legend.

This is a great text for exploration of cultures in a classroom or just as a bedtime story to think about how other cultures might tell the story of Noah.

  • Pattans PumpkinTitle: Pattan’s Pumpkin
  • Author: Chitra Sounder
  • Illustrator: Frané Lessac
  • Published: Candlewick Press, 2017
  • Reviewer: Sue Poduska
  • Format: Hardcover, 32 pages
  • Grade Level: PreK to 3
  • Genre: Folk legend
  • ISBN: 978-0-7636-9274-2