It looks like a bear, but isn’t one. It climbs trees as easily as a monkey— but isn’t a monkey, either. It has a belly pocket like a kangaroo, but what’s a kangaroo doing up a tree? Meet the amazing Matschie’s tree kangaroo, who makes its home in the ancient trees of Papua New Guinea’s cloud forest. And meet the amazing scientists who track these elusive animals.
This title has been selected as a Common Core Text Exemplar (Grades 4-5, Informational Texts)
About the Author
Sy Montgomery is an author, naturalist, documentary scriptwriter, and radio commentator who writes award-winning books for children as well as adults. She lives in New Hampshire. Nic Bishop, who holds a doctorate in the biological sciences, is the author and photographer of many acclaimed books for children. He lives in Michigan.
Hometown:Hancock, New Hampshire
Date of Birth:February 7, 1958
Place of Birth:Frankfurt, Germany
Education:Syracuse University: B.A., Newhouse School of Public Communications, 1979; B.A., College of Arts and Sciences, 1979
What People are Saying About This
The writer and photographer of this exemplary description of science field work accompanied researcher Lisa Dabek on an expedition high in New Guinea's mountains to study tree kangaroos and promote the conservation of this elusive and endangered species. With early references to Dr. Seuss and hobbits, Montgomery connects the world of the young reader to this beautiful, distant place. She paces her narrative well, alternating focus on people and place, keeping the reader engaged and concerned about the expedition's success. As in other books in the series, she describes how local schoolchildren are involved. Her detailed account highlights scientific work habits, including extensive planning, necessary patience, careful observations and recording and the contiunal questions that arise. One unfortunately flipped picture notwithstanding, Bishop's photographs, shots of the expedition members, strinking close-ups of flora and fauna including the sought-for kangaroo and lush, green cloud forest scenes, are beautifully reproduced. From the maps in front to the concluding suggestions for young enthusiasts, information about the language, and index, this is another commendable title from an experienced team.
Publishers Weekly, Starred
Another beautifully illustrated entry in the Scientists in the field series... Montgomery gives a chronological, sometimes moment-by-moment account of the challenging climb into the remote cloud forest...[giving] an unusually strong, visceral sense of the work and cooperation fieldwork entails and the scope and uniqueness of theis particular mission...As usual, Bishop's color photographs are exemplary and extend the excitement in close-ups of creatures and of the team at work.
Booklist, ALA, Starred Review
Montgomery's friendliness and curiosity set the tone...Bishop's photography is, as always, outstanding...Dabek's advice to young naturalists...[is a] useful addition.
In this fact-packed adventure with stunning photos, readers joins scientists in New Guinea to radio-collar the way-cute tree-dweller.
"[M]eet the amazing scientists who track these elusive animals." Midwest Book Review November 2007 Midwest Book Review
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book has incredible photographs. They are so vivid and lively to the reader. This book has great information on the tree kangaroo in New Guinea. This would be an excellent source for a research paper.
This book follows scientist Lisa Dabek and her team of scientist and researchers into the rain forest of New Guinea to search for the Tree Kangaroo. The author uses kid friendly words and phrases and the pictures truly help tell the story of what life is like in this magical jungle. They faced the struggles of the altitude, leeches and wet conditions. They found a wide array of exotic animals and ran some test on the Tree Kangaroo. Lisa is a true lover of animals and takes great care and interest in their health.
This book takes the reader on an expedition to the heart of the cloud forest of Papua New Guinea in the search of the elusive, very rare and terribly cute Matschie¿s tree kangaroo. After being presented to the team (composed of Lisa Dabek, leading Matschie's tree kangaroo researcher, other scientists, a veterinarian, an artist, a zookeeper, the book photographer and its author and local trackers) as if the reader was also part of it, we are taken through all the steps of this scientific expedition from the preparations to the plane trip and then grueling hike to arrive to the research site. Vivid details about the difficulties of hiking at a high altitude with high humidity levels, treacherous roots, mud holes, pesky leeches and bugs plunge the reader in the heart of the adventure. We get excited with the team when they finally find one, then two, and then two more of these little-studied kangaroos. One wish more information would be given about these animals, but they are so hard to find, and have only been recently studied by Lisa and her teams that very little is known about them so far. This book reads like a story, not like a nonfiction informational book, but the writing is quite dense, so it would not be appropriate for early elementary grades. The beautiful photographs on each page feature people who participated in the expedition, native animals (all the more stunning one from the other) and people, the fascinating primitive cloud forest and of course, the tree kangaroos themselves. Information is given about the culture of the local people, the place, and local animals, so one learns about much more than the tree kangaroo. This is an inspirational book destined to entice youngsters who love animals to pursue their passion, but it is also a good book for anyone, young and old, who loves wild animals and might want to help in their conservation. Resources to learn more about tree kangaroos are given at the end, and there is a page with words and expressions in Tok Pisin, one of the languages of Papua New Guinea. Grades 5 and up.
I felt like this book committed the crime of talking to kids like they're kids. It's a great subject and a winning setting, but the tone ruined it for me. I'd recommend it for the photos only.