This charming picture book could easily be a Velveteen Rabbit for the younger crowd. Mama Ruby and Little Joe, two stuffed kangaroos, arrive at their new home, ready to fit in. But the new toys are stuck-up and unkind. "You mean you're secondhand?"...."We're tenth-hand!"
Mama and Little Joe are kind and helpful anyways....and when Little Joe is in trouble, the other animals discover what it means to have heart - something more important than fine stuffing.
The art is warm and cozy, just right for a feel-good story of love and happy endings.
Verdict: Not a required purchase, but a fresh alternative to the glut of overly sentimental gush that shows up in picture books. A nice theme without being overly didactic, and a nice story for a stuffed animal storytime.
ISBN: 978-0689872433; Published September 2006 by Simon & Schuster (out of print); Borrowed from the library; Purchased for the library