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Hip-Pocket Papa

by Sandra Markle

Book list Set in an Australian temperate rain forest, this picture book opens with a pair of tiny hip-pocket frogs guarding their eggs from predators while waiting for them to hatch. Finally, a dozen teeny tadpoles emerge and slowly climb into their father's hidden hip pockets. There they develop and grow for several weeks, while their father struggles to find food and avoid predatory animals such as the dusky antechinus (a marsupial) and the currawong (a bird). Shown on the book's dust jacket in actual size (less than an inch), the frog looks larger in the illustrations but remains a vulnerable, sympathetic figure to follow through the pages. Markle writes with clarity and precision, while Marks' evocative watercolor, ink, and pencil artwork brings the frog's world to life. Well suited to classroom units on rain forests, food chains, or frogs, this lovely picture book offers close-up views of an intriguing little animal living in a particular ecosystem.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal K-Gr 4-In Australia's temperate rainforest, a miniature drama plays out among the leaves on the forest floor. Two hip-pocket frogs, less than an inch long, guard their eggs until tiny tadpoles emerge and wriggle up the male's hind legs into hidden pockets. Once the eggs hatch, the female's work is done, but for the next 30 days, the male must hunt for food and keep his skin wet while eluding predators. By the time the froglets emerge from his pockets, he has reached a creek bank where they can find the moisture they need for their continued survival. An animal glossary includes information about the currawong, antechinus, quoll, and other creatures the frog encounters. Marks's vibrant watercolors offer close-up views of the frog and his surroundings, revealing interconnections that cannot be seen easily by much larger humans. A photo of the hip-pocket frog appears in Markle's Slippery, Slimy Baby Frogs (Walker, 2006). Mark W. Moffett's Face to Face with Frogs (National Geographic) and Nic Bishop Frogs (Scholastic, both 2008) both use dramatic photos to provide a more wide-ranging introduction to these fascinating amphibians. While libraries will want to make sure those titles are in their collections before adding this one, Markle's new book offers a unique introduction to a specific species.-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.