Noni the pony rescues a joey by Alison Lester
Allen and Unwin, 2018. ISBN 9781760293123
(Age: 3+) Highly recommended. Themes: Horses, Australian animals, Environment, Habitat. Noni the pony rescues a joey will captivate its audience, already thrilled at the first book about Noni the pony (2010) and Noni the pony goes to the beach (2014). All the right ingredients are brought together, Noni, of course, with her two friends, Coco and Dave, and an array of Australian animals for young children to recognise and name while they have this rhyming story read to them. They will thrill at predicting the word to end each line, and work with Noni and her friends as they try to find the joey's parents.
Lester entrances her readers with a story of loss, but as Noni asks each animal she meets, the joey finds her mob, and along the way small pieces of information are given teaching the audience some of the habits of these animals. So many of the animals are asleep, being nocturnal, the koala and her joey asleep because of their poor diet, the echidna is digging, the father emu is looking after his chicks, and finally as evening falls the other wallabies come out to graze, and the joey is reunited with the family.
Lester's recognisable illustrative technique will delight younger readers as they will be able to find other books by this prolific Australian author in the library.
The range of animals that live in Waratah Bay will intrigue readers as they note the echidna, possum, quoll, koala, wallaby, goanna, emu, wombat and platypus, and feel impelled to find out more about these Australian animals and their habitat and habits, perhaps looking for them in their own neighbourhood or seeking them out at the zoo.