A baby kangaroo named Joey decides that he wants to get out of his mother’s pouch and hop. But after only a single hop he finds a bee! Back to the pouch! Later he tries again and again, but he keeps encountering other “scary” animals and retreating back to the safety of his mother’s pouch. The Joey’s hops take him to another nervous kangaroo….
David Ezra Stein’s illustrations, done with china marker, watercolors, and water-soluable crayon have a fuzzy, relaxed tone that blends well with alternating emotions of Joey as he whiplashes from enthusiasm to fright to safety and back again. The colors are subdued earth tones that evoke a dry(ish) Australian landscape.
Young children often struggle with the tension between independence and safety, and many will identify with Joey. Share this with your favorite toddler or preschooler.