“Marveling at Marsupials,” is the first of many lively chapter headings, and that's just what you will do when you pore over the amiable narrative, fascinating descriptions, astonishing facts, and the plethora of color photos of that third group of mammals, the metatherians. What’s the largest living marsupial? It’s the red kangaroo, which stands almost six feet tall and weighs more than 200 pounds. You’ll also find out about opossums, wallabies, koalas, wombats, Tasmanian devils, and irresistible animals you maybe never heard of, like cuscuses, bandicoots, numbats, and quolls. It's all here: a crisp, attractive layout with compelling pictures, charts; and maps; quotes from experts in the field; phonetic pronunciations of difficult words; a “For Further Reading” annotated list of books and websites for children; and an extensive bibliography, glossary, and index. Collard raised a baby opossum as a boy, and his delight in the subject reverberates on every page.
Excellent for reports, sure, and a must for animal-lovers, it's also a natural for browsing and pleasure reading. Kangaroo lovers will find it a welcome companion to Sy Montgomery's Quest for the Tree Kangaroo: An Expedition to the Cloud Forest of New Guinea.
Reviewed by JF.
Darby Creek Publishing, 2007
Suggested Ages: 8 and Up