In the hot, dry lands of central Australia, big Red leads his band of kangaroos through a night.
A band of kangaroos is called a mob, and Red is the mob leader. Not only must he lead his group to the woods for shelter from nighttime storms and daytime heat and to grassy areas for food, he must keep a wary eye out for other male kangaroos (potential challengers) and other enemies. The text is presented in dual narratives. One, surprisingly lyrical, focuses on Red’s activities; the other, straightforward and distinguished by an italicized typeface, adds details about kangaroo behavior in general. Charcoal drawings digitally splashed with the brick red of that dusty world show the band and some of the plants and animals that share their world: clumps of spinifex grasses, wallaroos, thorny devils, dingos, a goanna and a spinifex hopping mouse. Although these are identified in the text, readers with no prior knowledge of Australian flora and fauna might find the attractive art a little too allusive for easy understanding. But the narrative arc will keep them engaged and perhaps inspire further research. The book concludes with general information about kangaroos. The front endpapers show kangaroo tracks, repeated in many illustrations.
Appealing in subject and presentation, this will be a welcome addition to primary-grade nonfiction collections. (index) (Informational picture book. 5-9)