While the volume’s mix of fact and fiction may give some readers pause, others will enjoy this animal tale about friendship...



A kangaroo struggles to fit in when his family moves to a new home in this picture book.

Opening with facts about Australia (from the Latin for “Southern Land”) and kangaroos (that country boasts over 60 different kinds), this tale gives the impression that it will be a nonfiction answer to the titular question. Several types of kangaroos are introduced along with some information about their physical abilities—and yes, they can swim, but mostly just to avoid predators. One gray kangaroo who loves to swim is the fictional Joey, who adores the water more than his peers. When his family prepares to relocate, his mother suggests he might find a friend to swim with in their new place. After a discouraging revelation (their new home is a desert) and an impulsive rescue, Joey eventually meets a kindred spirit who shows him a swimming hole. The switch from facts to Huff’s (For Sale by Owner, 2018) fanciful story is jarring and may make young readers doubt the things they learned in the early pages. But the author’s amusing, stylized illustrations, with Schiller’s (The Story of Little Pickle, 2017) bright colors, are consistent throughout. It’s worth perusing the book just for two textless pages—a face-off between a wicked snake and a scared turtle—that capture the emotion of the moment perfectly.

While the volume’s mix of fact and fiction may give some readers pause, others will enjoy this animal tale about friendship that features humorous images.

Pub Date: June 15, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-71804-549-1

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Next Page Publishers LLC

Review Posted Online: Jan. 5, 2019

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This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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The greening of Dr. Seuss, in an ecology fable with an obvious message but a savingly silly style. In the desolate land of the Lifted Lorax, an aged creature called the Once-ler tells a young visitor how he arrived long ago in the then glorious country and began manufacturing anomalous objects called Thneeds from "the bright-colored tufts of the Truffula Trees." Despite protests from the Lorax, a native "who speaks for the trees," he continues to chop down Truffulas until he drives away the Brown Bar-ba-loots who had fed on the Tuffula fruit, the Swomee-Swans who can't sing a note for the smogulous smoke, and the Humming-Fish who had hummed in the pond now glumped up with Gluppity-Glupp. As for the Once-let, "1 went right on biggering, selling more Thneeds./ And I biggered my money, which everyone needs" — until the last Truffula falls. But one seed is left, and the Once-let hands it to his listener, with a message from the Lorax: "UNLESS someone like you/ cares a whole awful lot,/ nothing is going to get better./ It's not." The spontaneous madness of the old Dr. Seuss is absent here, but so is the boredom he often induced (in parents, anyway) with one ridiculous invention after another. And if the Once-let doesn't match the Grinch for sheer irresistible cussedness, he is stealing a lot more than Christmas and his story just might induce a generation of six-year-olds to care a whole lot.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 1971

ISBN: 0394823370

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1971

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