'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Review: Where's Lucky

Jacqui Halpin, author of  Parmesan, The Reluctant Racehorse has written a touching story about an orphaned swamp wallaby.

Where's Lucky follows the rescue of a joey and the daily life of the wildlife rescue volunteers, Theresa and Tony.

In Theresa and Tony's home all the orphaned joeys are swaddled into cosy fabric pouches hung on frames, to make them feel safe and snug like they would in their mother's pouch.

Just like human babies these joeys need lots of care and attention. There are bottles of milk to prepare, joeys to feed day and night, blankets and pouches to wash, and  piles of poo and oceans of puddles to clean up.

As for Lucky? He settles in very quickly but has a habit of getting into mischief and not being exactly where he should be. Throughout the story children will have many opportunities to find out where Lucky has disappeared. Additionally readers can also spot Bluey, another joey who is inquisitive and likes to help. He can often be seen in the illustrations interacting with Theresa and Tony.

Under Theresa and Tony's care Lucky and his friends thrive and grow. This presents the volunteers with a new problem, where will Lucky and the older joeys go once they need more space and fresh green grass to eat?

Halpin weaves a lovely story arc with dashes of sadness, humour and joy that accompanies an orphan animal story. She gives a good insight to the work required to care for a group of joeys and reminded me of the when my family raised orphaned lambs, especially the bond that develops for the animal that you raise.

Sandra Sevengnini captures the antics and characteristics of the joeys in the most delightful way. I love how she has illustrated the huge feet and gangly legs of a growing kangaroo. Sevengnini has depicted the foreignness of a house environment for a kangaroo, by showing the contrast of their brown toned fur against bright coloured fabrics. While in the hen house and rural bush property, the joey's fur camouflages them into the colours of the landscape.

At the end of the book there are suggestions of how to avoid hitting kangaroos and other wildlife while driving your car. Plus what actions to take if you need to help an injured animal. A percentage of the income of this book will be donated to Our Haven Wildlife Shelter in Victoria, Australia.

Title: Where's Lucky?
Author: Jacqui Halpin
Illustrator: Sandra Severgnini
Publisher: Little Pink Dog Books, $24.95
Publication Date: 1 April 2019
Format: Hard  Cover
ISBN: 9780648256335
For ages: 4 - 7
Type: Picture Book


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