A family composed of animals indigenous to Australia spends the day together.
This lighthearted romp of a book begins at daybreak. “Wakey wakey / Hungry” reads the text as the unruly quoll, wallaby, echidna, possum, antechinus, wombat, bilby, quokka, and numbat urge their parents—a koala and a kangaroo—to get out of bed and feed them. Honey’s loose, confidently rendered watercolors in harmonious muted tones bring the liveliness and mayhem of this large diverse family to life, while her spare, often onomatopoeic text gives it added sparkle. In fact, the pairing of words and images is so effective that readers (in particular, those reading aloud) may give a sigh of relief as the koala and kangaroo finally put their little ones to bed and quiet reigns. Many of the animals depicted may be unfamiliar to North American readers, and Honey includes, at the story’s end, an identification and pronunciation guide—which may also serve to stimulate readers’ curiosity about these unusual animals. Using anthropomorphized, diverse animals to create a story about a playful, happy family underscores to readers the idea that family members needn’t look alike, and, in fact, diversity can be a lot of fun.
A happy, lively story that celebrates the idea of family diversity even as it introduces readers to some of Australia’s fauna. (Picture book. 3-7)