Kevin is an anxious Koala who finds change challenging. He spends his days and nights in the Australian Outback clinging to his Gum tree, despite the best efforts of the other animals to lure him down to play. He secretly feels a bit left out of the fun, but he perceives the world as far too dangerous, loud and strange a place to allow himself to clamber down. Then one day, out of the blue, Kevin’s tree keels over. To his surprise, and with the support of his friends, he finds himself not only able to cope on ground level, but to find the courage to try new things, to explore and have fun.
An entertaining story that encourages children to try something new. Perfect for children who find change difficult.
The considerable talents of Rachel Bright and Jim Field have been perfectly combined to create a really magnificent picture book. Bright’s relaxed and witty rhymes are delightful, and there are endless beautiful details to explore in Jim Field’s illustrations of the characters and the Australian landscape.
The messages we found in this book:
- New situations and experiences can be challenging for some: it can be really hard to ‘let go’ of the security of a familiar environment
- It is sometimes difficult to admit that you’re frightened or anxious. Kevin gives practical excuses for staying in his tree to mask his real feelings.
- It is easy to perceive unfamiliar situations as full of danger; Kevin imagines threats which in reality don’t come to pass.
- Kevin’s friends are kind and supportive. When the tree falls, they are there to catch Kevin and gently encourage him to ‘let go’.
- Kevin shows new-found courage and confidence when he begins to explore new situations.
- Kevin feels ‘springy and light and happy and young’ when he un-clings from the security of his tree. The ‘worst he could think of had now come to pass’, but he realises he is just fine.
- None of his perceived threats and dangers come to pass; instead he has fun with his friends and enjoys exploring.
- Do you think Kevin was really too busy to come down and play?
- If Kevin’s tree hadn’t fallen over, do you think he would have come down on his own eventually?