Review Blog

Sep 06 2011

The koala bounces back by Jimmy Thomson

cover image

Ill. by Eric Lobbecke. Random House, 2011. ISBN 978174275 0071.
(Ages: 4-5) Picture book. Environment. A sequel to The koala who bounced, this story shows the koala along with other animals and birds in their stretch of the forest. But cats have moved in, cats that have been dumped by their unthinking owners, and the animals must decide what to do about this problem. A clear environmental message is brought to bear with the animals grappling with the problem of the cats destroying their neighbourhood. They decide to have a football competition, and the cats seem to win hands down, that is, until it rains, when they must run for cover. But Karri takes pity on the cats, and goes off to find a place where they can live. He smells BBQ smells coming from the new housing estate built near the forest and when investigating, finds the cats have followed the smells too. And the owners of the new houses take the cats in as their own.
This is a neatly told little story which could well be used to introduce themes such as destruction of habitat, or environmental damage, or suburban encroachment upon animal habitat when studying this in the classroom. Readers will be highly amused by the different characteristics shown by the illustrator, giving another layer to the story.
Fran Knight

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