This book, abundant with color photographs, takes readers into the world’s only hospital solely for koalas.
Both a table of contents and brightly colored banners throughout the book help readers home in on their particular interests. However, the text is short and accessible enough so that the book can be read in a single sitting. The hospital nurses koalas that are sick, injured, or orphaned, and it releases them into the wild whenever possible. The text clearly states that most of the problems koalas experience stem from their having to share habitat with humans; lest anyone be misguided when they see koalas in an Australian’s backyard, “actually, it’s people who are living in the koalas’ backyards: Scientists have found koala fossils in Australia that are 20 million years old. That’s long before people lived there!” All of the text has a conversational, matter-of-fact tone that allows readers to effortlessly pick up facts about common threats to koalas—including dog bites—and about the tender care the rescued koalas receive from the time they enter the “koala ambulance” to the time they are released back into the wild. Readers will likely feel a gentle tug of responsibility for the cuddly marsupials, so they’ll appreciate the closing information about how kids can help preserve wildlife. The photographs are crisp, informative close-ups.
A good read for animal and conservation enthusiasts. (author Q&A, glossary) (Nonfiction. 7-12)