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Roly Poly Pangolin Hardcover – March 9, 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Very few children will know what a pangolin is, especially preschoolers, but this scaly baby animal evidently has many of the same fears as little kids. In large type and rhyming sentences, listeners are told how Roly Poly is scared of new things, like something that might bite, bugs for dinner, playing with strange animals, and monster sounds. So Roly Poly does what pangolins do: he rolls up into a ball. When he peeks out, he sees another ball peeking back! He has found a friend. “Roly Poly, very small, / feeling better, feeling tall. / So much to see, so much to do . . . / So much nicer when it’s two!” The scaly creatures are playfully but accurately illustrated, with the addition of expressive faces to reflect emotions. An author’s note explains that pangolins are an endangered species and makes a plea for readers to visit her Web site to learn how to help. Book proceeds will go to Cuc Phuong National Park, in Vietnam, where research is being conducted. --Julie Cummins

About the Author

Anna Dewdney is the author/ illustrator of the bestselling Llama Llama picture books, including Llama Llama Misses Mama. She is the mother of two away-at-school daughters and lives with two stay-at-home dogs in southern Vermont.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 5 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - Kindergarten
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Juvenile; First Edition edition (March 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670011606
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670011605
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 0.4 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #153,062 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ryal McMurry VINE VOICE on April 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have long been a fan of Anna Dewdney. She is also the author of the "Llama Llama" series, "Grumpy Gloria," and "Nobunny's Perfect." She truly has a gift, and her stories are not only enjoyable for children, but adults as well.

I was very excited for this book featuring a pangolin. I had not ever heard of pangolins before I heard of this book. When I first read about this book, I began doing some research. The information I found was fascinating. I began to wonder how Ms. Dewdney would take the pangolin and make it a children's book character. She succeeded brilliantly!

I am a kindergarten teacher, and Ms. Dewdney's books are a staple of my classroom. My students love her books. They were fascinated when I read them "Roly Poly Pangolin." We were able to discuss many different social aspects -- being scared, playing with others, etc. -- however, the students really wanted to learn more about pangolins and see real photos of them.

I think this book is excellent, and it should definitely have a home in your home and school library.
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Format: Hardcover
Where, oh where was "Roly Poly Pangolin" when I was a kid? How fortunate for children today to live in an era that celebrates not only childhood but also the books to take them through that time. When did I learn about pangolins? I'm the leading edge of Baby Boomers (and will turn that landmark age in 2011)--yet just this year did I discover pangolins! And! They are an endangered species!

A pangolin is a scale-covered mammal with a furry belly and gives birth to only one baby per pregnancy. It is a timid creature which eats ants and slugs, not bugs (as we learn by reading Anna Dewdney's marvelously informative books). Its habitat is Africa, India, China, and Southeast Asia, a surprisingly large area if we consider its endangered status. Man is its worst enemy (although Anna doesn't tell us why in the endnote). There. Now you know as much about pangolins as I do. Oh, one more thing. Ms Dewdney traveled to Vietnam just to see a pangolin before she wrote and illustrated her book. There's a photo to show such. A pangolin is about the size of a raccoon or large possum.

If you can see Roly Poly's face on the cover, I ask that you look even more closely. Recognize that face? It resembles the face of Ms Dewdney's really famous book character--Llama llama. ("Llama Llama Mad at Mama" is my favorite!) As a PK3-8th librarian, I should have recognized it (but didn't even think about it). Sweet, gentle.

In each of her books, Ms Dewdney converts a childhood experience into an animal expression. In "Roly Poly Pangolin" the character is afraid of new things and rolls into a ball, hiding itself from the world until it feels safe again. Much like children. The pangolin even rides on its mama's long tail (in a true clinging fashion).
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Format: Hardcover
The little wide-eyed pangolin didn't "like new things at all" and hung on to his mama's tail. As she moved along, he thought of things that could bite and closed his little eyes. Eeew! His mama was sticking out her long tongue eating ants and slugs, but Roly Poly didn't like bugs. Eeew! He spotted a little monkey in the jungle who wanted to play with him but he got scared and quicky ran away. Eeew! Scary. "Roly Poly, very small, / doesn't like new things at all. / Rustle! Snap? / What can it be? / Roly does not want to see."

Roly Poly heard a little noise and was sure it was a monster. Eeew! His arms splayed out to his side, his eyes widened and he began to run. All of a sudden he stubbed his toe, went down and roll, roll, rolled up into a ball. He was very quiet and didn't move. His eyes were shut, "The world's outside but he's within-Roly Poly Pangolin." Roly Poly heard a strange little sound and opened up his eye just a bit and saw another little ball staring at him. What could it be?

This adorable little roly poly, timid pangolin and his antics will make the reader smile. Although not quite as funny as his book cousin, Llama Llama, Roly Poly is nonetheless quite a charmer. This story is rhyme doesn't miss a beat and the illustrations are whimsical and quite expressive. In the back of the book is a brief discussion of the endangered pangolin. If you want to add another one of Anna Dewdney's charming stories to your list, this is one you may wish to consider!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My son loves this book. Pangolins are a very unique creatures. Probably the most endangered creature you never heard of.

Poor things are being hunted out in asia.

Good book though. Cute characters and my 5 year old son really loves it.
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IT GOT ME! Not a roly poly bug as I thought. So for me the story plot was unpredictable. Also educational because I now know how a Pangolin (mammal) looks and lives. This very fast read is a repeater, as always with Anna Dewdney), a book that students, kids & grandkids, and even we grandparents will enjoy reading or hearing over and over. That's what makes a children's book great, not just one of the books on the shelf. Toddlers will be pulling it off the shelf for a nap story.

I'm a retired elementary teacher and would highly recommend this book for every primary school, church, public, and family library. It not only is as fun to read as "Cat in the Hat" but it teaches. Kids (like me) will learn of this far away animal, and also a lessons about fear, trying things the first time, and working together. That's a lot packed into a short book that reads to quickly it has never to be turned down.

"Sure we'll read 'Roly Poly' again."
Practice that line, parents and teachers. You'll be using it often. And the art work is Dewdney delicious. It makes me want to get out my paints and try painting a Roly Poly Pangolin myself. Better yet, I'll do that with one of my grandchildren, right after reading them my copy of Roly Poly. Maybe paint Poly Periwinkle and Pink.
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