Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Picture Book Review: The Walloos' Big Adventure by Anuska Allepuz (2021)

Quick Booktalk

Led by Old Walloo, Little Walloo and the whole Walloo family take a trip to visit a tropical island only to discover they've been vacationing on the back of another animal. 

About the Illustrations 

The Walloos are colorful kangaroo or wallaby-esque creatures with cartoonish facial features. Their surroundings of jagged rocks, choppy waters, starry nights and fuzzy plants are textured and often fill the background all the way to the edges of the page. In general the illustrations have enough contrast to be seen at some distance, so it would be possible to share this book in a classroom or other small-group scenario. The book also has lovely endpapers, which show shadows of living things in the water. At the beginning of the book, they are filled with plants, but at the end there is a change to reflect the discovery made by the characters during the story.

Story Time Possibilities

This book is being promoted as an ecology lesson, but I was a bit confused about the exact message it was trying to deliver. The story is fine without that didactic element, and I actually prefer a book that doesn't preach, so for me that was not a problem. I think the twist at the end will be surprising to preschoolers, who are the best audience for this story based on the short paragraphs on most pages and the focus on Little Walloo's perspective. It would be fun to plan a story time about adventures and include this book alongside fun classics like We're Going on a Bear Hunt and Jamberry. 

Readers Advisory 

I think it would be interesting to pair this book with Margaret Wise Brown's classic, The Little Fur Family, to compare and contrast the two families of unspecified mammals. I don't think it's as great a book as it claims to be for introducing environmentalism, but it would certainly suit the needs of a nature-loving reader.


I received a finished review copy of The Walloos' Big Adventure from Candlewick Press in an exchange for an honest review.  
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