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"Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart." More
Summary: What is that? The animals gather around to look at this small creature staring at them. They each pick an attribute to help decide what he is. Where do I belong? The creature wants to know where he fits in, and the animals want to help. Everyone but the skink. He has nothing to offer ... except teasing. Will platypus ever discover who he is and where he belongs? A fictional story and non-fiction material come together in this story about learning (and accepting) who you are.
Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, playtime reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 5 to 8; read yourself: 8 to 10
Interest Level: 5 to 8
Reading Level: 3.2
Age of Child: Shared with 6-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: Our child followed along as we read the story, but instantly got engaged when skink's name-calling caused platypus to cry. That was the piece that stuck with her ... and made it hard to get her interested in reading it again (even with the happy ending).
Adult Reader Reaction: Although the story may sound familiar, this is not your usual menagerie of animals: a wallaby, a kookaburra, and a bandicoot. Very cool. The illustrations are amazing, giving the animals the right level of factual accuracy, but also making them personable so they are memorable to kids.
Pros: Kids and parents will enjoy this story that gives them facts about animals they'd find in Australia (and a few zoos) and offers memorable life lessons, as well.
Borrow or Buy: Buy! This is a package deal: great factual information that will be a perfect baseline for a school project and a story that will resonate with them. Every child will empathize with the platypus ... and every parent can reinforce messages of kindness and to treat people the way you want to be treated.
Educational Themes: Use this book to expand your child's world, whether its geography (Australia), animal habitat, or nature in general. Following the model of the other animals, they can learn about teamwork and bullying. Ask them to talk about differences AND similarities between pairs of animals or the collective group. It's a great way to practice their skills of observation and discernment.
Notes: This is an Accelerated Reader title. Spanish and English audio readings are available for free.