Stepping out of our comfort zone is something that many of us are very reluctant to do. We like to stick with things that are familiar and that feel safe. The problem with doing this is that a life without adventures can be rather dull. You also learn less about yourself and the world when you restrict yourself. In today’s picture book you will meet a koala who is too scared to venture down from the tree that he calls home, and as a result his life is both lonely and predictable.
The Koala who could
Illustrated by Jim Field
For ages 4 to 6
Scholastic, 2017, 978-1-338-13908-2
Kevin the koala has simple needs. He likes to have a tree to sit and nap in, and leaves to eat. He likes a quiet life, which is why he likes to stay in his tree and avoid change. From his vantage point the ground beneath him seems “a frightening place,” and so he stays well away from it. Trying new things just isn’t something he is interested in doing.
One day Wombat invites Kevin to “come down here and play,” but Kevin stays put. Even after the roos tell him that there is nothing to be afraid of on the ground, Kevin declines to join them; he firmly clings to his tree.
Day after day Kevin sits in his tree, living his life the way he has always done. Then one morning Kevin wakes up and something is very wrong. A bird is pecking on his tree. In fact the birds is pecking the tree so vigorously that the tree starts to list and lean. Closer and closer to the ground it gets, with Kevin holding on for dear life. The other animals gather below, offering to catch him if he will just jump, but Kevin is too scared to do something so dangerous.
All too often we are prone to holding on to things that are familiar and safe. We avoid trying new things because they are unfamiliar and scary; we cannot be sure how things will work out if we try these new things. In this amusing picture book, we meet a koala who resists change at every turn, until something happens that turns his life upside down. Children will be fascinated to see how things work out for Kevin. and they will delighted to discover that his story has a surprising ending.