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Penelope Anne Cole enjoys writing children’s stories to be read aloud. “Reading to children is the best way to help them love literature.” Ms. Cole has taught and tutored at every grade level, K to 12, and community college. She also reviews children's books. When not writing or reviewing children’s books, Ms. Cole enjoys dog walking, reading, gardening, church, and choir activities. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, a member of the California Writers Club:  Fremont Area Writers, SF Peninsula Writers, and South Bay Writers, and is a Reading Therapist with Read America. Ms. Cole reviews books at

http://pennyreviews-chat.blogspot.com/

See reviews of Ms. Cole's books at

http://reviewsforpenny.blogspot.com/

Her website is www.penelopeannecole.com

Contact Ms. Cole for School Author Visits, locally in-person, or by SKYPE.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Kangaroo Clues by Margot Finke, Illustrated by Mustafa Delioğlu



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.

aboutThe 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
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 Available from:  http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/kangaroo-clues.htm

16 comments:

  1. What an interesting idea for a book. The illustrations are awesome! I love that she has woven some "legend" or "myth" elements into the kangaroo's story, too. I need to check this out for my nephews and my daughter, whom we call KANGAROO!

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  2. Thanks for stopping by! I love the great artwork, too. Margot said the action depicted was "real life." I enjoy her Outback stories. Wait till you see her new MG one "Down Under Calling."

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  3. Looks wonderful, Thanks Penelope-
    Margot always has great books and I love the art work.
    Kit Grady

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    1. Thanks, Kit, for your comments. The artwork is perfect for Margot's story.

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  4. Wow! Great review Penelope! I love Margot's books, she is one talented author. Thanks for sharing!

    Nicole Weaver
    Award-winning author
    http://nicole-weaver.com

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    1. Thanks, Nicole, for your supportive comments! Wishing Margot much success!

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  5. Obviously the author really knows Australia.

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    1. Thanks Jan, for your comments. I guess you can take Margot out of Australia, but can't take the Aussie out of Margot!

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  6. A wonderful review of what looks like a beautiful book. You are right, Margot has a way of engaging those boy readers!

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    1. Thanks, Kai, for your supportive comments and stopping by. Margot raised sons, so reluctant boy readers are her passion!

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  7. What a great review! This book sounds like it's a wonderful blend of fiction/nonfiction.

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    1. Thanks, Melissa, for your comment. Yes, it's one of those books that is more than it seems at first glance.

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  8. Great review Penny, and Margot congrats on another wonderful book for children. I wish you great success.

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    1. Thanks, Sue, I appreciate all your support, ideas, and comments!

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  9. Penny, thanks or alerting me to these wonderful comments. I usually tick a box that sends me an email about new comments - but I can't find one here? Heartfelt thanks everyone for your wonderful comments.

    Yes, some Old Man Roos will do this to trick the wild dingo packs that try to run them down and kill them. This is more a PB for grade school kids. The theme is a little more intense that your run of the mill PB. And if any of you know a teacher who would like a SKYPE author visit that will HOOK those reluctant readers on reading - and even writing - please contact me. Skyping with a classroom of eager kids, and answering their questions about writing books for them, is so much fun. You can hear me chat about it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-LLo_eWdxk

    Books for Kids - Manuscript Critiques
    http://www.margotfinke.com

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    1. Hi Margot, I'm so glad you got to see all these great comments! You have a lot of fans out there! Keep up the good work!

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