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Finding Home
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"A remarkable story of survival. The creators of A MOTHER'S JOURNEY and LITTLE LOST BAT, Sandra Markle and Alan Marks team up again to chronicle the challenges faced by a mother koala- protecting herself and her joey from a raging bushfire, and finding food and a new home after their home range is destroyed. Based on a true story. Back matter includes facts about koalas, an author's note about Cinders, the real-life koala that survived two bushfires, and resources for learning more about koalas and their habitat."

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Gr 2-4-Markle surmises what the days immediately following two bushfires might have been like for a female koala and her joey. The story begins on a spring day when "the air smells of eucalyptus leaves and smoke." With her joey on her back, the mother koala climbs and escapes the fire but afterward finds her home destroyed and no food left for miles. Realistic watercolor illustrations depict the intensity of the fire and the skeletal trees that remain as the koala travels through moonlight for hours, sniffing for food. The trek leads to a swamp mahogany tree, an encounter with a pet dog, and more civilization than wild animals prefer. The language and illustrations throughout feel as gentle and reverent as the representation of the gathering suburban crowd, painted in muted colors that suggest respect for the koala survivors. Suitable for reading aloud or independently, this story of one female's risky journey makes a good choice for animal, survival, or Australian studies.-Julie R. Ranelli, Queen Anne's County Free Library, Stevensville, MD Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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