Koalas eat gum leaves by Laura Bunting

cover image

Ill. by Philip Bunting. Scholastic, 2017. ISBN 9781742991832
(Ages: 2-7) Recommended. Themes: Koalas, Diet. Simple, minimalist illustrations marry well with the plain language narrative style. Short simple statements abound from the title onwards. Koalas eat gum leaves. With no exceptions . . . Not even on their birthday. But this one koala is sick of gum leaves and looks through his binoculars for something tastier. He finds ice-cream and gets hooked. Ice-cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Eventually he gets quite a bellyache and realises why his diet should consist mainly of gum leaves . . . perhaps with an ice-cream every now and then?!
This could be used to discuss diets of different animals as well as humans. Why do we eat what we eat? What would happen if we had treats all the time? What are everyday foods and what are sometimes foods?
This is a very simple, but enjoyable story. The koala is mostly expressionless and the book uses very dry, satirical humour, which will be enjoyed by both adults and children.
Nicole Nelson