Quest for the Tree Kangaroo: An Expedition to the Cloud forest of New Guinea
Montgomery, Sy. 2006. Quest for the Tree Kangaroo: An Expedition to the Cloud forest of New Guinea. Photographs by Nic Bishop. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.
“A kangaroo, in a tree?” Sy Montgomery and Nic Bishop have once again teamed up to bring us an up close look at life in a cloud rain forest of Papua, New Guinea. Filled with facts and trivia, this award winning book is more than just information about another endangered species. The text and graphics bring the reader right into the heart of the expedition as Montgomery details the journey with an introduction to the team, an account of the supplies needed to survive and vivid dialog and descriptions of their unique and daring field trip in the wild. The story follows the passion of scientist and conservationist, Lisa Dabek, in her search for the endangered Matschie’s tree kangaroo. Montgomery’s narrative can be embraced by readers of all ages as she provides phonetic pronunciation guides after each scientific or difficult word. She even sometimes chooses to use more ‘kid friendly’ words to describe things (like drool for saliva when discussing the leeches numbing effects on the skin) without compromising the quality of the text. Themes of triumph over adversity and overcoming difficulty are found throughout this book. Lisa’s struggle with asthma does not deter her from her life’s work of saving the endangered tree kangaroo. The beautifully illustrated maps of the area, with a helpful glossary of the Tok Pisin language of the native New Guinea tribe, and websites for students to look up additional information about the endangered Matschie’s tree kangaroo make this book a fascinating resource for animal lovers and conservationists of all age levels.