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Pouch! Hardcover – September 17, 2009

33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 1—Stein continues to create deceptively simple yet very affecting picture books. One day, little Joey peeks out of Mama Kangaroo's pouch and says, "I want to hop!" Each time he leaves his safe haven, he takes more steps, meets a strange new animal, yells out "Pouch!," and hops back to his mama to hide. But when the final animal is another little joey who also yells "Pouch!," the two realize there is nothing to fear, have a good laugh, and hop off together. When their mamas offer their pouches, the youngsters say, "No, thanks." The marker, watercolor, and crayon illustrations are rendered in Stein's trademark simple, scribbly, loosely drawn style. The increasing distances Joey hops from his mother are clearly represented with increased page turns and use of perspective. Stein's choice of easily identifiable animals (a bee, a rabbit, and a bird) is particularly apropos, giving the book universality that it might otherwise lack. The repetition will appeal to the intended audience, as will the chance to identify each animal Joey meets. The subtle sophistication of the story gives it broad appeal: while it could be used one-on-one with toddlers, older preschoolers would enjoy it in storytimes, and the minimalistic text would be effective with beginning readers as well.—Amy Lilien-Harper, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT END


"Warm and inviting, this buoyant tale is hopping good fun." --Kirkus

"Stein continues to create deceptively simple yet very affecting picture books...The subtle sophistication of the story gives it broad appeal." --School Library Journal

"Stein's minimal, to-the-point text and breezy mixed-media illustrations convey Joey's energy and swing of feelings." -- Horn Book

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 5 years
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers (September 17, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399250514
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399250514
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.4 x 10.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #313,875 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on December 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Today I had to tackle a preschool storytime. I am not a particularly brave librarian, though. If I find a picture book that works, I have to really work at not using it over and over again in front of a crowd of two to four-year-olds every time I do a storytime. Kids are unafraid to inform you when you are boring the socks off of them. after all. So today I was brave and I used not one, not two, but THREE brand new picture books. It was scary, but it worked. And "Pouch!" by David Ezra Stein, was one of the three. Admittedly, I brought it out because I knew I wanted to review it, but it wasn't field tested (as it were) yet. Now I am happy to report that when read with the right amount of verve and near panic, this is a delightful storytime option that kids and adults alike will both love. Clearly the kangaroo word for "retreat" is "POUCH!"

Joey's a sweet little baby kangaroo who one day gets a wild notion. "Mama," he says, "I want to hop!" Mama's willing, but little Joey is a bit of a panicky sort. On his first outing he runs across a bee. His reaction? "POUCH!" and in he hops. On his second hop about the woods he meets a rabbit. You can guess his reaction. Trip #3 and it's a bird that freaks him out. But on Trip #4 he meets another baby kangaroo. And after both of them give a cry of "POUCH!" they realize how silly they've been. So much so that when their mamas offer a pouch to them at the end, they confidently slap their arms around one another and say with pseudo-nonchalance, "No, thanks."

Stein has style. They say that when you write fiction you should have a distinctive voice. Well, Stein's distinctive voice is in his brush.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Pencils on November 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Usually it takes one or two readings for my daughter to appreciate a book, but she immediately took to POUCH! We've had it since Friday and I think we've read it about twenty times. Luckily, it's a very sweet book with wonderful illustrations and the adults have been enjoying it too. It's a simple story of a young kangaroo exploring his world, with his mama and her comforting pouch always there in case he's frightened. Not that his world is truly frightening, Joey is just very young. And this is a fun book too, yelling "POUCH!" is fun for both child and parent.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jessica on November 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a simple and delightful illustration of a child's use of his mother as a "home base" for exploring the world. For more on this principle, see here: [...]
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Format: Hardcover
When Joey was a little kangaroo, he stayed in his mama's pouch all curled up fast asleep, but when he "peeked out and saw the world," he wanted to explore. Joey and his mama smiled at each other and soon he was climbing out of the pouch. Hop, hop, hop! The first critter he encountered was a bee and when he asked who it was he hopped back to his mama yelling "pouch!" His mama gently cuddled with him until he was ready to hop again. He hopped up a little hill and came face to face with a bunny rabbit. Hop, hop, hop! "Pouch!"

Back in the comfort of his mama's pouch he peered at the outside world again. It wasn't long before he "took four hops to the sandy hollow." This was a bit further than he had been before. Past the bee, past the rabbit, but Joey dif not go out of his mama's sight. "Who are you?" Well, when that bird answered there was no doubt about where Joey was going. It was no surprise that he still wanted to explore the world, but the next time he went out hopping he encountered a creature that really surprised him. Maybe this time he wouldn't be yelling "pouch!"

This is one of those adorable books you'll want to read time and time again . . . all cuddled up in a rocking chair with a little one. Many children are a little hesitant to go very far from a parent or caretaker. It's not long before they forget they were ever frightened and need less comfort and reassurance, especially when they meet other children. I loved the simple illustrations and the way they captured the mother's comforting gaze directed toward Joey. If you read this one during circle or story time, don't be at all surprised if you have little ones hopping around the room!
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By E. Kennen on December 31, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Pouch! is an endearing, brief tale about a joey kangaroo venturing out into the world for the first time. Using minimal wording and warm illustrations, author/illustrator David Ezra Stein brilliantly depicts how Joey wrestles with wanting to explore the world and being afraid of new things. For Joey, fresh out his pouch, everything is new -- and thus scary. He hops, sees a bee, and jumps back into his pouch. He hops out again, farther this time, sees a bird, and jumps back in his pouch. Joey continues this behavior until he sees another baby kangaroo. Equally frightened, they both yell "Pouch!" at the same time, and head towards their mamas. At that moment, joey realizes the absurdity of the situation -- and makes a new friend he can lean on.

It is hard to convey how tender and funny this book is, how instantly appealing it is to both kids and parents. So, instead, let me say just read it.
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