Penelope looked down the mountain, but Percy was nowhere to be seen.
‘Where’s that Percy?’ she thought. ‘He should be coming back by now.’
Penelope the pygmy possum wakes from her winter hibernation, looking forward to the return of her mate, Percy, who has spent the winter with the other males away from the cold of the mountains. But there is a problem. Over the winter roadworkers have built a new road, and now it is blocking the path of the male possums. Luckily, Rick the Ranger has a solution, and soon the males are using a new tunnel under the road to get home. Penelope and Percy are reunited.
Penelope the Mountain Pygmy Possum is a cute picture story book which fictionalises the real events surrounding the building of a ‘tunnel of love’ for male pygmy possums to safely leave and return from the Snowy Mountains during the colder months, while the female possums remain on the mountains and hibernate. The story gives young readers the chance to learn about the pygmy possum and the threats to its existence. Illustrations show realistic landscapes, roadworks and wildlife, though the possums are partly anthropomorphised for narrative purposes.
Educational and entertaining.
Penelope the Mountain Pygmy Possum , by Gordon Winch & Stephen Pym
New Frontier, 2016
Far up north, clouds are gathering: thunderheads and rain clouds.
Rivers fill and break their banks,
And water swirls and roars down the empty riverbeds towards the lake.
Kati Thanda – Lake Eyre – is a dry salt lake in the centre of Australia. But once roughly every ten years heavy rains to the north fill the lake with water, awakening frogs and shrimp. carrying fish down creek beds, giving new life to parched plants, and bringing birds, including pelicans and ducks, to the lake to breed, feed and flourish. When the lake starts to dry out again the birds and their new young fly away and the other life returns to dormancy waiting for the next flood.
Desert Lake: The Story of Kati Thanda – Lake Eyre is a beautiful non-fiction book which brings the changing lake to lif through the combination of well-written text and stunning mixed media illustrations. The narrative text is complemented on each spread by the inclusion of facts, presented in a different font so that readers can read the story and facts separately, if desired. The illustrations show the diversity of the lake’s inhabitants and the lake itself through contrasts between the ochres and browns of the dry, and the greens and blues of the wet.
Par of the Nature Storybook series, Desert Lake is excellent both as an educational tool and for prib=vate enjoyment.
Desert Lake: The Story of Kati Thanda – Lake Eyre, by Pamela Freeman & Liz Anelli
Walker Books, 2016
On Macquarie Island in the Southern Ocean, half way between Australia and Antarctica, a gentoo penguin named Jojo is born. From the moment she first peeps out of the nest she can’t wait to go to sea, but every time she asks Daddoo or Mummoo ‘Am I ready yet?’ they tell her ‘Not yet, little Jojo, not yet’. First she has to get bigger, grow feathers and learn to swim. When at last she is old enough for her first swim, she finds a whole new world just waiting to explore. Now she’s ready for anything.
Go Jojo Go! is the delightful fictionalised story of a young penguin’s early life, told in first person narrative and supported with beautiful photography supplied by the author from her own time on Macquarie Island.
Go Jojo Go! is well balanced between entertainment and education.
Go Jojo Go!: A Little Penguin on a Big Swim, by Tess Bickford & Jennifer Castles
Allen & Unwin, 2012