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Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite
Kangaroo Max Travels Australia: Life Lessons from the World's Smartest Animals, written by Chris Sunray and illustrated by Phillipa Haskins, is the story of an adventurous young kangaroo who ventures out to explore one of the planet's most diverse geographical landscapes and the wildlife that inhabits them. Max lives in the Australian Outback with his family, who are accustomed to his keen curiosity and are supportive when he sets off again to discover the mysteries of the ocean. After five days of hopping through grassland, rainforests, and over beautiful backdrops, Max and his friend John arrive at the waterfront. After a swim with turtles and a picnic on a cliff, the pair are joined by a marine biologist named Claire, who is happy to take them beyond the shore so they might discover more fully what the ocean has to offer.
Kangaroo Max Travels Australia is an entertaining and educational book that is well crafted and simple to read. Writer Chris Sunray does well in describing what Max sees and experiences and is able to blend them into a narrative that my youngest reader was able to engage with. I really liked that Max carried a 'Life Book' to jot down facts he learns to share with his family when he returns, and with his Grandma Emma in particular. The space provides room for children to jot notes of their own down right next to it but also summarizes what they and Max have just been taught. The illustrations are exceptional and Phillipa Haskins breathes life into the tale with full-color original artwork. The orcas were the firm favorites in a vote among the bedtime readers who were able to enjoy this two nights in a row...their request! Overall, this is a good little book for a bit of learning and a bit of fun for adults and children alike.