Tiny Possum and the migrating moths by Julie Murphy. Illus. by Ben Clifford

cover image

Tiny Possum and the Migrating Moths is a beautifully written and illustrated non-fiction picture book which tells the story of the highly endangered Mountain Pygmy-Possum and its important connection to the Bogong Moth. Both creatures hibernate in different seasons in the mountains of the Southern Alps in the south-east of mainland Australia. The story tells of a tiny female possum, no bigger than a mouse, feeding on the moths that hibernate in caves during the summer months. This in turn allows the possum to hibernate during the winter months below the snowline. Once the weather breaks, the possum mates and after 13-16 days up to four offspring are born. The possum feeds on the migrating moths who have travelled from Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria in order to feed her young and build up her stores of body fat for the next cycle of hibernation. Unfortunately, the moths can be distracted by the lights of towns and cities and conservationists have encouraged communities who live along the migration route to turn off or dim lights between the months of September and October.

The striking full-page illustrations complement the text perfectly and provide a rich visual experience for reader. The author has thoughtfully included further vital information about the possum, its life cycle and further learning links. The benefit of the publication and sharing of children’s non-fiction of this quality is how much knowledge can be gained by the reader, both young and old. This important story is a worthy addition to home, school or public library

Free Teacher Notes and further information is available here.

Themes: Mountain Pygmy-Possum, Bogong Moths, Endangered Species, Life Cycles, Australian Wildlife, Community, Conservation, Natural Habitats.

Kathryn Beilby