#45 – What to Expect When You’re Expecting Joeys by Bridget Heos

5 stars

This book will explain to you nearly everything you have ever wanted to know about marsupial parents and their newborn kids.  To start, one must know which animals are marsupials. Most all know about koalas and kangaroos.  There are others: possums, opossums, wallabies, wombats and Tasmanian devils are a few.  All live in Australia or South America, except one.  The Virginia Opossum lives in North America where people often call them giant rats, despite not being a rodent.

The author goes on to explain about the pouches most marsupials have to carry their babies..  How do the babies, called joeys, get into the pouch?   What do joeys look like?    What happens to the joeys if mother does not have a pouch?  While in the pouch, what do the joeys do every day?  How long do they remain in their mother’s pouch?   Will the mother miss her joeys once they leave the pouch?  That is not all.  The book will also explain what the joeys do, when they are no longer joeys, and on their own.

This is a fascinating book.  I never knew the Tasmanian devil was a marsupial or that their joeys screech, bite, pull, and generally fight for food.  I picture them twirling in fast circles, like the cartoon, trying to get the most food from mamma.  This is not what happens, the twirling in circles part, but it is funny to imagine this happening.

Marsupials are amazing mammals.  Not all have a pouch and not all pouches open at the top.  How do the joeys stay in that pouch if it opens at the bottom?  I picture them hanging on to the opening with one hand, while holding a bottle or a book with the other, calmly drinking or reading as mom moves around.  That is not what happens, of course, and the book explains what these joeys really do to hang on.

The pictures do a great job illustrating these concepts and more.  Some are nicely shaded and layered while others are bright and pop off the page.  All of the illustrations are fun and help our understanding of these wondrous babies. The amount of information in this small book is astounding.    There is also a glossary and a bibliography.  What to Expect When You Are Expecting Joeys . . . is a good book for kids that are homeschooled, as well as for those that are not.  Even adults will enjoy learning about marsupials and their joeys.

Note: received from netgalley, courtesy of the publisher.