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Adventures in Australia & New Zealand Review by Jennifer Ladewig

Tim Ostermeyer
Fun Adventure Wildlife Books
1813 Country Brook Lane
Allen, Texas 75002

Adventures in Australia & New Zealand is part of a collection of books by Master Photographer Jim Ostermeyer that takes your child on a trip around the world to explore creation. In these books, your child will learn educational facts, be enriched by moral messages, and enjoy amazing photography from around the world. Each book teaches a moral lesson such as confidence, faith, and following your dream. This 47-page hardcover book retails for $18.95. Adorable plush animals can be purchased on the website to go along with the books.

Adventures in Australia & New Zealand takes your child on a journey with Joey, a baby kangaroo. “Mother Kangaroo clucked coaxingly, ‘Come out, Joey, and see the golden bushes on the side of the mountain.’ But Joey stayed hidden deep in her pouch.”Having never left the safety of his mother’s pouch, Joey must learn to be brave. To survive, he must face his fears. His mother knows that he must come out to see his world. Joey’s mother begins to describe all the beautiful things he is missing out on by staying hidden deep within her pouch. As Joey hesitatingly peaks his head out, his world explodes with lovely sights, colors, and beauty. From a crimson rosella chirping and whistling on a tree branch to a baby koala sitting high up in a tree, Joey begins to discover the world around him. Joey comments, “If I hadn’t chosen to be brave, I would have missed this!”

Joey is very happy to be able to dive into the bottom of his mother’s pouch when a cockatoo flies straight toward Joey and his mother. Soon Joey begins to explore his world from outside the safety of his mother’s pouch but still by his mother’s side. He encounters an echidna, a large goanna lizard, a sea lion, a dolphin, and so many more amazing animals. Joey learns that an albino kangaroo hopping around, about his age, wasn’t much different than Joey besides his coloring. At one point, a tall emu frightens Joey, and Joey sticks his head into his mother’s pouch. She is a bit disappointed. “She hoped that soon he would have faith and confidence and not live in fear.” With his mother’s patience and love, Joey learns that he can live without fear and be confident, faithful, trusting, and loving. He is ready to face the world!

Not only is this a touching story of a mother kangaroo and her joey, but also it is a story filled with a lot of educational information on animals. Did you know that the koala is not a bear and that when they are born they are the size of a jellybean? Or did you know that the Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo is one of Australia’s most recognizable parrot species? The Bleeding-Heart Pigeon gets its name because of the red spot on its chest that looks like it has been wounded. You may be surprised to know that sheep outnumber humans 5 to 1 in New Zealand. Your child will learn so many interesting facts while enjoying spectacular photos of Australia and New Zealand and many of the animals indigenous to those areas.

My 11-year-old daughter absolutely loves animals. She was so very excited about getting this book. She snatched it up and read it several times through on the first day it arrived. My 8-year-old enjoyed me reading this book to her. She loved the story of Joey and his mother. She was more interested in the story than all the animal facts. Both of my daughters loved the beautiful photography throughout the book. My 11-year-old said, “I really, really liked this book. I want my mom to get the rest of the books in this collection. I have always loved animals and love reading about them. I would really recommend this book. The story was so cute, and I loved all of the animal facts and information.”

My 8-year-old said, “Joey’s mother was so patient and loving. Sometimes I wish that my mom had a pouch that I could climb into especially when I am scared. I bet a kangaroo’s pouch is really warm and cozy. I am so happy that Joey learned to not be afraid.”I really liked this book and would most definitely purchase more of the books in this series. Adventures in Australia & New Zealand relays a great story emphasizing “confidence” while providing children with animal knowledge. Definitely check out this book as well as the rest of the books in the series.

-Product review by Jennifer Ladewig, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July 2017