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

Friday 5 November 2021

Review: Tiny Possum and the Migrating Moths

What is the critically endangered pigmy possum? It is a creature as small as a mouse that lives in the mountains of the Southern Alps, in the south-east of mainland Australia. This is the only place in the world it can be found.

The first part of its yearly cycle takes part from January to April, the busiest time for the pigmy possum. It must put on weight to prepare for hibernation beneath the snow in a circular nest prepared by collecting leaves, moss and grasses. 

Pigmy possums feed on bogong moths that are found in caves. The availability of this food source depends on the migrating moths staying on their path, which can be hindered by bright lights which make them lose their way.

They hibernate between April and September, waking at times to feed on stored food.

Breeding season takes place from September to January and the litter of joeys grow out of the mother’s pouch at five weeks. For the next ten weeks, they live off their mother’s milk.

There is so much to learn about this tiny mammal. Stunning close-up illustrations by Ben Clifford allow us to see the pigmy possum in detail.

Books that introduce obscure species to us are valuable and educational instruments. These particular ones are threatened with extinction by feral cats and other predators due to their size.

Tiny Possum and the Migrating Moths is literally a work of art. A flood of information is available simply from the book and its additions at the end.

Julie Murphy has ensured a clear and comprehensive overview of this little known animal. Highly educational and extremely interesting, children will delight in learning about, and viewing the habits of this precious being.

Title: Tiny Possum and the Migrating Moths
Author: Julie Murphy
Illustrator: Ben Clifford
Publisher: CSIRO, $24.99
Publication Date: 1 November 2021
Format: Hardcover 
ISBN: 9781486314621
For ages: 6+
Type: Non Fiction Picture Book