Title: Koala
Written by Claire Saxby
Illustrated by Julie Vivas
Published by Walker Books
RRP: $24.99 ($AUD, hb)

A young koala is forced to leave his mother and home. He learns many things on his journey to find a new tree in which to live. The story of the young koala is accompanied by informative non-fiction text about koalas, both in different fonts. Julie Vivas’s recognisable illustrations are gorgeous, giving more information about koalas and their habitat. The landscapes in which they live are shown, as are some other Australian animals and birds. More information about koalas is given at the back of the book. The index enables specific information to be located easily.

This is a wonderful non-fiction picturebook for young readers. The large format, full page illustrations are sure to be pored over and the information given will be enjoyed by all ages, including those reading the book to a young audience.

Books such as this are crucial in the information literacy development of young readers. Information is given in both written and visual forms, and the audience will be introduced to an index. This book will offer hours of enjoyment in the home and classroom, and is a must for school and public libraries. It would make a lovely gift for friends and relatives worldwide.

Activity Suggestions

  • Introduce a young class to the KWL chart, used by many to plan and help guide their research. Use this KWL chart for Koala I have made.
    • K – List what the students know about koalas.
    • W – Discuss what the class would like to know about koalas. From this discussion, form 5 questions. List in the W column, spaces provided.
    • Read Koala by Claire Saxby and Julie Vivas.
    • Answer the questions listed in the W column after reading the book. If the answers are not in this book, conduct further research. Discuss possible sources of information.

Many thanks to Walker Books for supplying this book for review.