After Noni the Pony and pals Coco (a cat) and Dave (a dog) meet a young wallaby on the trail, they help him find his family.
Continuing her rhyming series, Lester lets Noni the Pony do what she does best—run free in the Australian hills. Noni is exploring with her two friends when they discover a lost, distressed wallaby joey. Thinking his family group, also called a mob, must be near, the four animals start looking. On their way, they meet several well-known Australian animals such as a koala, a wombat, a platypus, and an emu as well as others perhaps less familiar to American readers, such as an echidna, a possum, a goanna, and a quoll. Unfortunately, “no one has spotted the wallaby mob, / and Joey’s small sniffle becomes a big sob,” so Noni invites Joey to her home. It’s there that they find Joey’s wallaby family, and everyone celebrates their reunion by the light of the moon. This simple tale is a nifty introduction to Australian animals and their homes. As a read-aloud, the dialogue will need a bit of practice to keep the meter. Illustrations are colorful and detailed, with splashes of humor (Noni and Dave have identical orange-and-white coloring, and the cow chorus line is a hoot), but the wallaby family is shown as a father, mother and two children when usually only one wallaby is born at a time.
A sweet tale of friends helping friends. (Picture book. 3-6)