Koala (Read and Wonder)

by Claire Saxby (Author) Julie Vivas (Illustrator)

Koala (Read and Wonder)
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
Series: Read and Wonder
"The watercolor illustrations are dramatic, colorful, and attractive. . . . Youngsters will enjoy learning about the marsupial . . . all within a moving tale filled with adventure." -- School Library Journal

When a young male koala outgrows his mother's pouch, it's time to find a new home for himself, braving perils and adventures along the way. Rival koalas, fierce storms, and frightening snakes force Koala to keep moving until he finds a safe place to call his own. In this dramatic nonfiction account, two renowned Australian picture book creators bring us a surprising and authentic look at the ever-popular koala.
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Watercolor illustrations follow the text closely, showing the koala through days and nights, in all kinds of weather, and using an unusual, kangaroolike gait when he flees from a snake. Relatively challenging words such as "hesitates," "sapling," and "leaf litter" are evident from the context of words and pictures, and "marsupial" is explained early on. The koala's trials are real, but they are also brief enough to assuage any reader anxiety. Solid beginners' zoology.


Using the format launched by the Read and Wonder series twenty-five years ago, Saxby combines a narrative story of a single koala with explanatory, expository prose that provides information about the species as a whole.

School Library Journal

The watercolor illustrations are dramatic, colorful, and attractive...Youngsters will enjoy learning about the marsupial's physical characteristics, child-rearing, mating, and enemies, as well as where they live and what they eat, all within a moving tale filled with adventure. Riveting nonfiction for elementary collections.

Review quotes

Claire Saxby
Claire Saxby is the author of numerous picture books, including Kookaburra and Dingo, both illustrated by Tannya Harricks, Emu, illustrated by Graham Byrne, and Koala, illustrated by Julie Vivas. Claire Saxby lives in Melbourne, Australia.

Cindy Lane was born in and grew up in Sydney, Australia, lived by the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, and now has her studio by the Indian Ocean in Perth. She loves to make her own paints with materials she finds in nature, and she collects water from around the world to use in her paintings. Seawater from across Australia was used in Great White Shark, her first picture book.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Candlewick Press (MA)
Publication date
September 20, 2019
Read and Wonder
BISAC categories
JNF003140 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Animals | Mammals
JNF038030 - Juvenile Nonfiction | People & Places | Australia & Oceania
JNF051000 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Science & Nature | General
Library of Congress categories

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