Jimmy the Joey


Children's Book by Deborah Lee Rose

Jimmy the Joey by Deborah Lee Rose and Susan Kelly

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Meet Jimmy, the world’s most famous baby koala, rescued and returned to the wild. This photographic picture book is an uplifting, true story with a gentle message about coping with loss that draws attention to an important and threatened wild animal.

Download the JIMMY THE JOEY  TEACHER’S GUIDE with Common Core Standards connections

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School Library Journal
“This is a terrific choice for libraries and can be paired with other books about wildlife rescues…Irresistibly adorable photographs and a clear, lively text capture the charming story of an orphaned koala infant taken in and raised by a remarkable rescue team at an Australian koala hospital until he was ready for reintroduction to his natural habitat. Sadly, readers are informed, koalas are finding those habitats dwindling, as eucalyptus forests are increasingly being toppled to make way for homes and roads. It was a traffic mishap, in fact, that took the life of Jimmy’s mother. This incident is presented in a nonfrightening way for a young audience who should be heartened by the sight of a “koala ambulance” rushing the new orphan to the hospital.

Jimmy on Cheyne's foot

Photo Copyright: Susan Kelly

Eventually, with the help of expert hospital workers and the loving, home-based care of a devoted volunteer, Jimmy was strong enough to return to the forest. Young readers will be captivated by his tale and cheer for him and his new loving family. The book’s attractive design heightens the Australian setting. An endnote explains that the pages’ bright background colors reflect those found on the bark of certain eucalyptus trees, and the photo borders include traditional Aboriginal designs. Helpful features include a map of Australia depicting the koala’s range; facts about koalas; notes from the photographer; where one may see koalas in the U.S. and around the world; and ways readers can help these animals.” –Carol Goldman, Queens Library, NY

Kirkus
“Stories of animal rescue abound, but the cuteness factor here gives Jimmy’s story special appeal.”
This heartwarming, true story of an irresistible marsupial, not a true bear but with all a bear cub’s appealing qualities, is illustrated with photographs taken during the filming of a documentary about the Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie, Australia. While recording the joey’s growth and development in the smoothly told narrative that accompanies the photos, the authors also weave in some general information about the species: where they live, what they eat, how they grow first inside their mothers’ pouches. The design suggests a scrapbook of the joey’s life, decorated with traditional Australian Aboriginal designs and using the colors of eucalyptus bark and patterns of eucalyptus leaves as page backgrounds. Final pages include maps, a few facts about koalas, a photographer’s note and extensive suggestions for learning more about this iconic but little-known species.”

Goodreads review
“The text sparkles and is sure to evoke empathetic reactions from readers while the large photographs show how adorable Jimmy is and how carefully Barb, his caretaker works with him.” When his mother is presumably killed, a baby koala named Jimmy is rescued by an ambulance from the Koala Hospital. After being fed, nurtured, and taught to climb, Jimmy is released into the wild. Back matter from the photographer describes the environmental threats to koalas such as Jimmy as their habitat is increasingly destroyed and global warming makes life even more challenging for them. Readers will be surprised to learn that koalas are one of the species at most risk due to changes in Earth’s climate.

Smart Books for Smart Kids
This true story is told in such a way that is perfect for young children to learn and understand the challenges koalas face, while the excellent photographs are a heartwarming delight to study; it’s a winning combination. This is a book you will love to read with your kids. After all, who doesn’t love koalas?”

Contact Laurie Hembree at NGS for review copies, lhembree@ngs.org.

Readers will marvel at Jimmy’s new life, captured in photos by Susan Kelly who created the award winning documentary Koala Hospital. Jimmy is raised by loving human caregivers at the hospital and learns to interact with other koalas healing from injury. The book introduces young readers to the need for conservational awareness: through Jimmy’s story, readers will come to understand the many obstacles koalas and other species face today.

Screen shot 2013-04-13 at 9.42.43 AMThe book design was inspired by natural colors in rainbow eucalyptus trees and motifs from Aboriginal dot art.