One Potoroo : A story of survival by Penny Jaye and Alicia Rogerson

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Australia has unique and highly endangered wildlife, and the most endangered marsupial is the Gilbert’s Potoroo found in Western Australia. When a bushfire in 2015 ripped through Two Peoples Bay in WA, only seven potoroos survived. One Potoroo: A Story of Survival is a gentle story about one potoroo’s rescue and journey to a safe habitat. After being found, treated for burns and nursed to recovery, the potoroo is taken to the fenced Waychinicup National Park where it can safely source food and be free of predators. It is here that the declining potoroo numbers will slowly begin to increase, and the hope of conservationists is to eventually return the Gilbert’s potoroo species to its natural habitat at Two Peoples Bay.

The striking full-page illustrations by Alicia Rogerson complement this well written and engaging story. The author uses a blend of short sentences intermingled with longer ones as well as a focus on key verbs to add to the reader’s understanding of what is happening. Following the story are detailed facts about the Gilbert’s Potoroo across a double paged spread which also includes further information about other potoroos in Australia. One interesting fact included in the Author’s Note at the end of the book is that forward-thinking conservationists prepared for the threat of bushfire ten years before the actual event by transferring small numbers of potoroos to safe environments in 2005.

This story will appeal to children of all ages and the free Teacher Notes available from the publisher are a very worthwhile resource.

Themes: Potoroos, Endangered Marsupials, Australian Animals, Bushfire, Conservationists, Natural Habitats.

Kathryn Beilby