cover image A Koala Grows Up

A Koala Grows Up

Rita Golden Gelman. Scholastic, $2.5 (31pp) ISBN 978-0-590-30563-1

The life cycle of a koala is recorded from the night his mother and father mate. He spends six months in his mother's pouch, and another year and a half on her back; when he's two he finds his own tree, his own mate, and the cycle begins anew. The information here is meant to be conveyed in an engaging story, and most of the time the author handles her material well. But occasion ally, as when a fire breaks out and the mother and baby koala must search for a new home, the line between nonfiction and fiction is muddied. The pictures of the cuddly, smiling koalas also contrib ute to the feeling that this is more fanta sy than fact. Still, young readers may glean a lot of information here, with very little effort; perhaps that is the ad vantage of the format. (58