MEM FOX is the author of many acclaimed books, including Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, Possum Magic, Koala Lou, Time for Bed, and, for adults, Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever. She lives in Adelaide, Australia.
Fox's two new books join Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge as perfect examples of why the Australian writer has become one of today's top authors of children's books. Koala Lou is loved by everyone, but it is her mother who loves her most of all. She often tells her daughter, ``Koala Lou, I DO love you.'' As the family grows and her mother gets busier, Koala Lou yearns to hear those words again. She sets out to win the Bush Olympics as a way to gain her mother's attention. Lofts's colored-pencil drawings portray the Australian flora and fauna beautifully, including a few of the more exotic species. In Night Noises , elderly Lilly Laceby lives with her fat old dog Butch Aggie. While Lily dozes in front of the fire, Butch Aggie becomes increasingly concerned by the sounds of cars, voices, knocking and shouts. At last, Lily finally wakes up to answer the door, where a veritable mob waits to wish her a happy 90th birthday. Denton uses cartoon balloons and large letters to show the simultaneous action. Both of Fox's books send out positive messages to children about the wonders of being human: Koala Lou celebrates the eternal love of a mother for her child without the sentimentality of Robert Munsch's Love You Forever , and Night Noises lovingly bridges the generation gap. Ages 3-6. (Sept.)