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POCKET BABIES by Sneed B. Collard III Kirkus Star

POCKET BABIES

and Other Amazing Marsupials

By Sneed B. Collard III

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-58196-046-4
Publisher: Darby Creek

This intriguing, comprehensive introduction describes marsupials from the common Virginia opossums to the brush-tail possum, a New Zealand pest. In engaging, readable text, Collard presents familiar species (kangaroos, koalas, wallabies, wombats) and a host of lesser-known ones (bilbies, numbats, quolls, cuscus and the extinct thylacine). Along the way, he tells how marsupials differ from other mammals, dispels some popular myths and touches on speciation, classification and continental drift to explain how the many different species evolved and spread to their current homes in the Americas and Australia. His information is logically organized and supplemented with clear and easy-to-read maps and charts and well-reproduced photographs. With an attractive and functional design, this is appealing enough for the casual browser but also useful for serious middle-school research. The author concludes with chapters about threats to this mammal group and conservation efforts. He provides good documentation and suggestions for further exploration. Two species are described but not pictured (kowari and yellow-sided opossum), but this is a minor blemish in an otherwise splendid informational book. (bibliography, glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)