Margot Finke’s new release, Kangaroo Clues, is a sneaky book. You think it’s going to be a rhyming ode to Kangaroos and other Australian Outback critters. But no, it’s an exciting survival story of how tough life can be for these amazing animals. The “clue” here, is that this is another book in Ms. Finke’s “Wild and Wonderful Series.” Along with her Mama Grizzly Bear, this story takes the reader to the wild world – animals in their natural habitat.
The story opens innocently enough. There’s a mother Kangaroo with her baby joey in her pouch. We are introduced to the Dreamtime Spirits, also called Aboriginal Spirits -- which I remember from Ms. Finke’s Taconi & Claude: Double Trouble story.
We meet some more Outback animals as we get further into Kangaroo’s world. A kookaburra, an emu, a koala, an echidna, a frillneck lizard, a galah, a platypus, a goanna -- all make their appearance with footnote explanations. But the creatures they all dread are a pack of wild dingoes. It is up to Old Man Kangaroo to fight these deadly animals. Now comes the real excitement and adventure.
The cover art is also a clue. There you see a fierce kangaroo, kicking with his powerful back legs. This shows the strength and determination of the kangaroo -- to protect his home and family from the marauding dingoes. All of the artwork by Mustafa Delioğlu is totally appropriate to the story. As you move through each page, reading the rhymes, it’s the artwork that grabs and holds your attention.
This book is not for the faint of heart. This is a story with powerful images and strong action. Ms. Finke is famous for coaxing the reluctant boy reader. With this book, no coaxing is necessary. It’s an exciting story, with strong images, yet softened somewhat by rhyme and references to the Dreamtime spirits. Perhaps it was all a dream. You’ll have to get it to see for yourself. However, be forewarned, the lovely artwork and descriptive rhyme harbor a sneaky, true-to-life story that’s educational and entertaining
Available from: http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/kangaroo-clues.htm