Roly Poly Pangolin by Anna Dewdney
(Viking Juvenile March 9, 2010)
Roly Poly Pangolin is a 40-page picture book about a pangolin named Roly Poly who is afraid of everything. One day Roly Poly sets out on an adventure holding tight to mama’s tail. As a baby pangolin, the world is new to her, and because of this she is scared and unsure of everything: from the noises in the trees to the ants and slugs she is supposed to be eating.
It is not until she wanders a little too far from mama that she becomes consumed in her own fears, letting her imagination run away with her. Roly Poly stumbles and begins to fall, but in the process discovers something new and interesting about herself. She can roll up into a ball, similar to the Tolypeutes species of armadillo, which can also roll up into a ball for protection.
Roly Poly is not a little intrigued but waits until she hears a tiny call before she comes out of her ball. When she does she finds another pangolin looking at her. Because Roly Poly is not alone anymore, she and her new friend begin to play together, fearing nothing at all. “Sometimes new things can be fun when you’re not the only one.” Ms. Dewdney’s words will ring true for children whose imaginations often take them into scary places. With a little company, everything always seems a tad less scary.
Pangolins are an endangered species. Mrs. Dewdney traveled to Vietnam to visit these creatures and see them in their own habitat, learning much about them. A portion of the proceeds of this book will go to the Pangolin Conservation Program at Cuc Phuong National Park in Vietnam to support research and efforts to save these interesting and unusual creatures. Roly Poly Pangolin is a great read for children ages of 4–8.
Reviewer Renee Hand is the award-winning author of The Crypto-Capers series. Look for her upcoming release The Adventures of Joe-Joe Nut and Biscuit Bill, The Great Pie Catastrophe for lower elementary.