Mother Kangaroo is ready for Little Kangaroo, who is not so little anymore, to leave her pouch and explore the world on her own legs. But Little Kangaroo would rather stay put.
Van Genechten’s story of a small child separating from her parent, first published in Belgium, is a welcome relief in the age of helicopter parenting. The mother’s constant encouragement to view the beauty all around is rejected time and again by the joey. She’s quite content to remain with her mother, who introduces her offspring to butterflies, birds, monkeys, giraffes, and elephants. In the reverse of The Runaway Bunny, Little Kangaroo refuses to leave her mother. She starts out with eyes closed, hugging her parent, plugging her ears to block out the world. But slowly, she turns around and hangs her feet out of the pouch, delighted by the wonders around her. Then, surprisingly, the joey completely changes her mind and hops out of her mother’s warm pouch, never looking back. What caused such a change? All the wild animals are easy to recognize, with clean, black lines and traditional colors and shapes. Accents in the landscape are filled in with graphic patterns, which provide interest to the colorful pages.
A good choice to reassure less-assertive children that the world is safe and full of sights to explore solo—or with a friend. (Picture book. 2-5)