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*Hip-Pocket Papa* by Sandra Markle, illustrated by Alan Marks
Also by Sandra Markle:

Family Pack

Tough, Toothy Baby Sharks

Animals Robert Scott Saw: An Adventure in Antarctica

Animals Charles Darwin Saw (An Around-the-World Adventure)

Little Lost Bat

Also illustrated by Alan Marks:

Family Pack
Hip-Pocket Papa
by Sandra Markle, illustrated by Alan Marks
Grades K-4 32 pages Charlesbridge February 2010 Hardcover    

An informational picture book, Hip-Pocket Papaís narrative begins with an emphasis on the frogís tiny size as he hides under a button-sized mushroom cap. No bigger than a thumbnail, the Australian Hip-Pocket Frog raises its young through an extraordinary life cycle, cared for almost exclusively by the male.

Together with the female, they guard their brood of eggs hidden beneath the leaves. When the eggs hatch, the tiny tadpoles crawl up the fatherís legs into pockets on his hips designed to protect and keep the tadpoles moist. The father must then hunt for his own food, insects, while at the same time hiding from predators.

The challenge in this particular environment is to find moisture, as the Australian rain forest is in the midst of a drought. Just in time, the father makes his way to a stream, just as his tiny froglets are ready to make it on their own.

Breathtaking, mostly two-page spread, watercolor illustrations fill the pages of this beautiful science book. Alan Marks captures the hip-pocket frog in its natural environment using light shining down from the treetops and reflecting off the shiny surfaces to give the reader the immediate feeling of life in the rainforest. Other animals unique to Australia make an appearance in the life of this frog Ė both as predators and prey.

Hip-Pocket Papa can be enjoyed in many situations. Elementary teachers can compare and contrast the life cycle of the hip-pocket frog to the life cycles of frogs and other amphibians in their science texts. The book is also an excellent mentor text for students to emulate for animal research, or as a starting point for research.

With an animal glossary, authorís note, amazing facts and book and website resources for further research, Hip-Pocket Papa is an excellent addition to any home, school or public library. Use it in conjunction with other recent photographic books on frogs including The Frog Scientist by Pamela Turner, Face to Face with Frogs by Mark Moffett and Frogs by Nic Bishop. Highly recommended.

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  Kristine Wildner/2010 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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