cover image Rainbow the Koala (Surviving the Wild)

Rainbow the Koala (Surviving the Wild)

Remy Lai. Holt, $13.99 (112p) ISBN 978-1-250-78544-2

Employing her signature visual storytelling prowess, Lai explores the stark consequences of climate change in this graphic novel inspired by the 2019–2020 Australian bushfires. As the story opens, young koala Rainbow, the story’s narrator, learns various survival tactics from his mother: “drink your fill” when it rains, find a tree with good shade, and in case of danger, climb high “and hold on.” When it’s time for maturing Rainbow to become independent, he quickly finds that the forest is dry and lacking in water sources, and when animals begin fleeing an impending fire, he finds a tree to climb as the fire burns below. Doodle-like artwork and emotive character expressions add gentle levity to such themes as death and loss in a story that highlights resilience alongside human effects on the natural world. Back matter details the story’s beginnings, koala facts, and advice for slowing climate change. Publishing simultaneously: Star the Elephant. Ages 6–9. (Apr.)