In this sequel to The Last Polar Bears, Grandfather and his demanding, but delightful, dog Roo journey to Australia in search of Uncle Vincent, last heard of prospecting for gold. Their adventures are told in letters sent back to Grandfather's grandchild.
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This story describes the journey that Grandfather and his dog, Roo, conduct in search of his brother, Vincent. Last known to be in the gold-mining area of the Australian Outback, Vincent has not been heard from in years. Grandfather's entire journey is related in a series of letters to his granddaughter. The action and scenes recalled in these letters are a bit zany, for example Grandfather and Roo travel down under on a coal-powered airplane. It's cheap, but it does take quite a bit of time. In the Outback kangaroos are used to deliver mail--they have pouches to carry it in already. While this is rather imaginative, some listeners may find it just weird. Still, Bill Wallis's reading is rather nice. His voice is somewhat gruff, but nimbly expresses the wide range of emotions the pair experiences--excitement, wonder, exasperation, resignation--as they eventually find Uncle Vincent and return home. M.T.F. © AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, MaineFrom Booklist:
Having returned safely from his expedition to the North Pole (The Last Polar Bears, 2007), Grandfather once again slips away to a new adventure. This time he and his trusty dog, Roo, head to Australia, in search of his missing brother. A series of misadventures awaits them, involving a coal-burning airplane, a recalcitrant camel, and rowdy kangaroos. Roo proves to be of little help as a tracking dog. Before leaving, she assures Grandfather that her breed excels in sand, but once in Australia, she recalls that she prefers soft grass. Grandfather chronicles their plight and eventual success in a series of journal entries and letters to his Dear Child left at home. Small black-and-white illustrations sprinkle the pages along with frequent ink blots from Grandfather’s fountain pen. Some readers may find the wild absurdity of the situations and Grandfather’s naive assessment of his peril repetitive, but many will enjoy reading between the lines and feeling smarter than the narrator. Grades 2-4. --Suzanne Harold
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Book Description Penguin UK, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0140376763