by Suzi Eszterhas
Owlkids, October 13, 2015
Koala Hospital features a koala rescue center in Australia. It shows why koalas are in danger, how they come to be in the sanctuary, and the process of healing and rehabilitating koalas for return to the wild. Koala Hospital also focuses on the people who work at the rescue center and how they aid the animals.
Why You'll Love It:
- Topic-specific spreads make it easy for kids to dip in and out of the book, but they will likely read it from cover to cover. Interesting facts are incorporated throughout, even in the back matter. For example, koalas are one of the few mammals besides primates that have fingerprints; and “the word 'koala’ comes from an old Aboriginal word meaning 'no drink.’” (Koalas get moisture from their meals of eucalyptus leaves. While the leaves are poisonous to most animals, “koalas have a special digestive system that can break down the toxins”—though they sleep eighteen hours a day to recover from this hard work!)
- Readers will enjoy learning about how hospital staff and volunteers care for the animals. For instance, a laundry basket creates a small space “like a nest that keeps koalas contained while making them feel safe,” and “a healthy joey will go to a human foster mother and live in her house full time.”
- The cute marsupials practically pop off the page. Each spread features at least two photos, one of which usually fills a full page or bleeds across the gutter. Many are close-ups, while others show koalas in the hospital setting, with their foster mothers, or in their natural environment. Some especially endearing images include a joey dribbling milk during a feeding, a koala cuddling with a stuffed likeness of itself, and a marsupial snoozing high among tree branches.
Who Should Read It:
Great for grades 2-5...and here's the koala hospital's website!
What Else You Should Read: