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POUCH! by David Ezra Stein


by David Ezra Stein & illustrated by David Ezra Stein

Age Range: 2 - 5

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-399-25051-4
Publisher: Putnam

With each vivacious bounce, a baby kangaroo seeks independence—bit by bit. Ready, more or less, to venture forth from his mama’s pouch, this tenacious tyke now explores the world around him. With a few hops, Joey greets each creature he meets with a forceful, “who are you?” Their one-word responses alarm him; Joey quickly cries “Pouch!” as he returns to his mother’s side. When Joey meets another joey, though, he gains courage with his newfound friend. Punchy dialogue zings during the kangaroo’s brief interactions, and repetition successfully accelerates the story. Succinct phrases maintain playful pacing and provide a fluid read-aloud. The bold, white hand-lettered dialogue predominately placed against the vignettes expresses the toddler’s fledgling growth. Rich colors, mostly in orangey-browns, golden yellows and rustic greens, evoke an earthy atmosphere. The background surroundings seamlessly blend, maintaining focus on the central characters, and soft curves convey maternal love as Joey’s mother supports his maturity. Warm and inviting, this buoyant tale is hopping good fun. (Picture book. 2-5)