Nonfiction Monday: What to Expect When You're Expecting Joeys by Bridget Heos

What to Expect When you're Expecting Joeys: A Guide for Marsupial Parents (and Curious Kids)
written by Bridget Heos, illustrated by Stephane Jorisch
Millbrook Press, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7613-5859-6
Grades 1-5
Reviewed from copy received in giveaway at

BLURBCongratulations, marsupial parents-to-be! You're about to meet your tiny bundles of joy. They're called joeys. Some are as small as a grain of rice when they're born! Read this book to find out how many babies to expect, how to help them find your pouch, and what those little joeys will do in there all day long. Whether you're a possum or an opossum, a kangaroo or a wallaby, a koala or even a shrieking Tasmanian devil, you'll find answers to all your parenting questions here.

I'll say right off the bat that I had no problem with the content.  The format is fun and informative.  The information was accurate and the question and answer format was interesting.  I did learn things I didn't know, for example, I didn't realize that some marsupials such as wombats and koalas have pouches that face down/backwards. Unfortunately, the illustration on page 11 contradicts this.  I understand the intention was to create cute illustrations and Jorisch succeeded, but I think they could have been accurate as well.  

It also bothered me that the animals depicted were not labeled (no captions) at all.  If I hadn't already known what a koala or wombat or wallaby looked like I wouldn't have known what animal was what.  I did notice that the illustrator tried to illustrate the animals that the author mentions in the text, but when several animals were mentioned it sometimes created confusion about what animals were being shown.  I would have liked to see more precise illustrations, photographs would have been even better. Overall, the information was great but the illustrations provided a light, humorous touch.  I would recommend Nic Bishop's Marsupials for a more accurate depiction of different types of marsupials.

Head on over to Practically Paradise for more children's nonfiction recommendations.  Nonfiction Monday is a meme hosted each week by a children's literature blogger highlighting children's nonfiction.


  1. Hi Heidi, thanks so much for your candid review of this book. It's always important to take note of the book's strengths and what we perceive to be lacking with it - I also think that there are lifelike and near-photographic illustrations that would more likely complement the narrative and information-based text that you have here. :) Thanks for sharing this.


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