by Lenora Todaro; illus. by Annika Siems
48 pages; ages 4-8
theme: animals, COVID-19, environment
The parklands of Adelaide, Australia, form a figure eight, wrapping the city center with a green belt. Mobs of kangaroos live nearby in the hills among the shrubbery and woods. Usually, they don’t go into the city.
But, during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, when people stayed inside their houses, the roos did head into town. They bounded down the avenues and hopped by the shops. They weren’t the only animals out and about. Deer, pandas, and flamingos headed into the city to explore the quiet subways, business districts, and city parks. Even sea lions flopped into town to sunbathe in sun-warmed parking lots!
What I like about this book: I like the diversity of animals and the stories from around the world. Reading these stories made me realize that if we lived less noisy, less air-polluted lives we might see more wildlife in our cities and towns. This book also reminds us that we share this planet with other creatures, and makes us think about how we can make sure they have safe places to live and raise their families. Also, there is Back Matter (which I love!) – notes on habitats, biomes, and wildlife behavior.
Beyond the Books:
Did your area experience an extended period of low human activity during pandemic lockdowns? What did you notice about the sounds in your neighborhood? What did you notice about animals and birds outside your window?
Check out the news stories of animals during COVID lockdowns around the world. Here’s a video from The Sun and a photo essay from BBC.
Write a story or draw a picture showing what your neighborhood or town might look like if the wild animals returned to live there. What could we do so that we could live in peaceful co-existence with the wild animals?
Today we're joining Perfect Picture Book Friday, an event where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's website. Review copy provided by the publisher.