Sandra Markle, author
Alan Marks, illustrator
85 Main Street, Waertown, MA 02472
9781570917080, $15.95 www.charlesbridge.com
"Hip-Pocket Papa" is an amazing, visually rich journey through the birth process of the tiny, Australian hip-pocket frog. After the female produces her jelly-like egg clutch, both parents tend the clutch in the leaf litter of the Australian temperate rainforest through a dry summer. Eventually the little eggs hatch and 12 tiny tadpoles crawl into their father's hip-pockets for protection while they develop into independent little froglets, capable of surviving on their own. For an eventful 30 days the hip-pocket papa frog carries his brood of 12 tadpoles to be and tries to remain moist and fed, surviving the hot, dry Australian summer. Finally the tadpoles are reader to breathe air, catch their own food, and live on their own, having used up their natal egg yolks for nourishment during the 30 days. During the hip-pocket frog papa's time of nurturing his brood, he encounters many natural predators and dangers, which he survives bravely. At the end of "Hip-Pocket Papa" is an Animal Glossary to give more information about the amazing creatures described and illustrated in the story. "Hip-Pocket Papa" is a Junior Library Guild Selection that will intrigue young readers from 6-10.