Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Koala Lou” as Want to Read:
Koala Lou
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Koala Lou

4.09  ·  Rating Details ·  1,431 Ratings  ·  147 Reviews
When Koala Lou’s mother becomes so busy that she forgets to tell her firstborn how much she loves her, Koala Lou enters the Bush Olympics, intending to win an event and her mother’s love all at one time. “A first-rate choice for bedtime, story hour, or reading aloud.”--The Horn Book
Paperback, 32 pages
Published February 28th 1994 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1988)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Koala Lou, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Koala Lou

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Lindley Walter-smith
Dec 30, 2012 Lindley Walter-smith rated it it was ok
Oh, Mem Fox. I'm really not sure about the message this book sends to children. I *think* it is supposed to be that trying is more important than succeeding and that your parents will love you even if you fail. What it actually says is that working mothers ignore and neglect their children and that the only way to get affection from them is to tear yourself apart trying to impress them, and then you might get one precious moment of attention.

Awfully depressing and awfully woman-blaming. It actu
Book 6, Day 6 - Mini Family Classics from News Limited.

First published in 1988.
30ish pages
Author: Mem Fox
Illustrator: Pamela Lofts

When you ask an Aussie to name an iconic children's picture book author, Mem Fox's name will appear 9 times out of 10. And if you ask this hypothetical person to name one of her books? It'll probably be "Possum Magic"; but "Koala Lou" would come a close second.

Born in Australia, educated in Africa and England, now based in South Australia, Fox's books demonstrate her
Amy Forrester
Nov 25, 2012 Amy Forrester rated it it was amazing
From the day she was born, all the bush animals loved soft and cuddly Koala Lou, but it was her mother who loved her the most. All day long her mother would praise her beloved baby saying, “Koala Lou, I DO love you!” But the years pass and Koala Lou’s mother has many other children that take up her time. Her mother is too busy to express her love as she used to and Koala Lou longs to hear those words again, so she decides to train to win the gum tree climbing event at the Bush Olympics. Even tho ...more
This is the first book I have read from Mem Fox, one of my favorite authors, that didn't quite convince me. The story is about a lovely koala named Koala Lou who seems to feel like she isn't getting enough love from her mom. Her family has grown and her mom is pretty busy, so she seems to forget to tell Koala Lou, as often as she did before, that she loves her. Koala Lou decides to enter the Bush Olympics to get her mother's attention. She does not win, but her mom, of course tells her she loves ...more
Joanna Marple
Oct 22, 2011 Joanna Marple rated it it was amazing
Read this book and then tell me you haven’t fallen in love with koalas. This story tackles the common feeling of not enough motherly love to go round. When Koala Lou is born EVERYONE loves her, but none as much as her Mom who reminds of the fact 100 times a day. But the inevitable happens and siblings arrive and Koala Lou wishes her mother would repeat those words. So she comes up with a plan. She will compete in the bush Olympics. Winning her event will surely assure her mother’s love (sound fa ...more
Sep 20, 2013 Christy rated it it was amazing
When Koala Lou’s mother becomes so busy that she forgets to tell her firstborn how much she loves her, Koala Lou enters the Bush Olympics, intending to win an event and her mother’s love all at one time. “A first-rate choice for bedtime, story hour, or reading aloud.”--The Horn Book
Kate Mowery
Jun 28, 2010 Kate Mowery rated it it was ok
Holy crap these illustrations are creepy.
the first part of the book, with the mother telling the daughter how much she loves her, is sweet. The other part of the book is sad: the koala training and competing, trying to get her mother to tell her again that she loves her. The illustrations are beautiful.
Sep 06, 2014 Rhayne rated it really liked it
A parent’s ability to love their children transgresses time, but often in one’s life time our perception of that love can become altered. Parents have more children, they get a new job, the start working different hours, essentially life goes on, but whatever the case at some point in a child’s life they will begin to question the depth of the connection they once shared with their parents. It is quite normal for a child to feel at one point in their life a sense of loss within the confidence o ...more
Marisol Herrera
Sep 15, 2016 Marisol Herrera rated it really liked it
Plot Summary:

This picture book is about a firstborn koala who tries to gain back her mother’s loving attention. After being put aside by her younger siblings needing constant care, Koala Lou sets out on a mission to win her mother’s previous affections by joining the Bush Olympics. In the end, Koala Lou learns a valuable lesson.

Critical Analysis:

This short picture book beautifully details the universal emotions an oldest child faces when siblings take up all of a parent’s attention. Most first
Alexis Stafford
Sep 01, 2015 Alexis Stafford rated it really liked it
Koala Lou is a story with a lot love and emotion. Koala Lou being a young, only child got all the attention from her mother and was always being reminded that she loved her. Her mother always saying to her “Koala Lou, I DO love you,” but as the family grows Koala Lou’s mother has her hands full and can’t always remind Koala Lou that she is loved but in the event that Koala Lou wants to hear her mother say those words one more time she works extra hard to grab the attention of her mother. Althoug ...more
Rosa Cline
Jan 24, 2014 Rosa Cline rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids
This is a wonderfully written book incorporating animals from Australia that most children wouldn't be exposed to in a beautifully written book to remind children that no matter how old they grow or how many siblings they have that their Momma (or parents) will always love them. (And it gently reminds us adults who maybe reading it to their children that regardless of how busy we get our children still like to hear "I Love You" like when they were babies.)

Koala Lou was the first born child of he
Herbie Behm
Feb 20, 2012 Herbie Behm rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Having heard Mem Fox read books before, I read this book just how I imagined she would. I think that made it more enjoyable. I loved the bright colors they used in the drawings.
Ann Marie Olson
Personal reaction:
I really liked this book. I liked the color-pencil illustrations because they were detailed and colorful. They also matched perfectly with what the author was saying in the text. I thought this book was unique because many kids experience having siblings and fighting for attention from their parents. I thought this book was perfect for kids going through this and understanding that their parents love them, even though they may be busy with other kids or work.

Read aloud:
This wou
Sara Magliocca
Dec 08, 2016 Sara Magliocca rated it it was amazing
Shelves: author-study
1) Summary: This story is about a baby koala named Koala Lou. Everybody loved Koala Lou, especially her mother who always said, "Koala Lou, I DO love you"! Overtime though, Koala Lou's mother stopped saying how much she loved Koala Lou. Koala Lou tried to get her mother's attention by entering the Bush Olympics. In doing this Koala Lou realized that her mother always has and always will love her more than anyone else!
2) Review: This is another sweet story that shows children that the love of a p
Heather Gray
Sep 29, 2016 Heather Gray rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-11-20
Type of book- Picture book
literary genre- fiction, fantasy
Awards- none
Summary- Koala Lou is very loved by everyone but especially her mother. However, as she grows up and gets more brothers and sisters, her mother is busier and doesn't tell her she loves her as much. So Koala Lou decides to compete in the Bush Olympics so her mother will tell her she loves her when she wins. Lou prepares for the Olympics everyday and trains really hard. When the day comes, she does really well but doesn't win th
May 03, 2013 Janet rated it it was amazing
Mem Fox is one of my favorite authors, and I had the privilege of hearing her read this story of a young koala bear, Koala Lou, who feels that her mother doesn't pay as much attention to her anymore since several younger siblings have joined the family. In an effect to attract her mother's attention, Koala Lou competes in the Bush Olympics. After days of training and practicing, the big day of the competition arrives. Koala Lou puts forth her best effort but it's not enough. As she laments her l ...more
Jun 11, 2015 Lindsi rated it really liked it
This is a story about a little koala whose mother loves her very much and always says, “Koala Lou, I DO love you!” When her mom has more babies to look after she stops saying this to Koala Lou and she misses it. So she decides to enter into the Olympics to get her mom’s attention. When she comes in second she’s heart-broken that she didn’t win and didn’t think she’d get the “I love you” that she wanted. She goes off and cries. When she comes home here mom is waiting and immediately hugs her and ...more
Pat (Get Kids to Read) Tierney
Fox, Mem, and Pamela Lofts. Koala Lou. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1989. Print.
This review is also posted on Get Kids to Read:

Koala Lou is a classic story time book by Mem Fox. The story of a young Koala who loves the special time with her mother. When more brothers and sisters are born and she starts to get less attention, Koala Lou tries very hard to get a speck of attention and for her mother to tell her she loves her. Many children have anxieties
Kathryn Brunk
Mar 31, 2014 Kathryn Brunk rated it it was amazing
Mem Fox was born in Australia and has been writing children’s books since the early 1980’s. She has many fiction books and much non-fiction books as well. Almost all of her books are based on characters that are animals. She has her own website that cater to education and is really helpful.

Koala Lou is such a sweet book. It is definitely a social and emotional topic that deals with issues of competitiveness and sibling acceptance. The illustrations are wonderful and the message of the book nearl
Jul 13, 2010 Patty rated it liked it
Shelves: reading-record
Illustrator: Pamela Lofts
Age: 4-8
Summary: Koala Lou's mom tells her everyday how much she loves her until siblings come along and Koala Lou decides the only way to get her mom to say how much she loves her again is to win the Bush Olympics.
Applications/Uses: Exploration of animals in Australia, if students are learning about the Olympics this would be a cute supplementary text, discussion of what happens when you don't win, when students are at the age where their parents are having more childr
Michelle Lasser
Feb 23, 2014 Michelle Lasser rated it liked it
I guess I read this book at the right time, right as the Olympics are going on. This story is a perfect representation of a mother's love and how even if other siblings or other tasks get in the way of all the attention we used to get from our parents, they will always love you just the same. This love is more powerful than just getting us through the day, but encouraging us to do big things and knowing that we are ALWAYS supported by our mommies. Even if we don't come in first place in everythi ...more
David Edgren
Feb 06, 2017 David Edgren rated it it was amazing
A delightful little book teaching that Mother always loves you - even after having new babies!
Here's me reading it aloud.
Tom Goodwin
Aug 24, 2015 Tom Goodwin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Koala Lou is the story of a young koala bear who is feeling "unloved" by her mother because she has so many siblings. Koala Lou trains as hard as she can for the Bush Olympics thinking that her mother will love her again if she wins. When the race ends, Koala Lou has come in second, but her mother finds her crying and reassures her about how much she loves her.

This is a great book to use with young children who may have younger siblings. It helps teach them that parents can love all of their chi
Feb 28, 2011 Ashley rated it liked it
In Koala Lou Pamela Lofts, the illustrator, captures the story written by Mem Fox in several differnet ways. She used bordered images with parts of the image overlapping the border to show depth. The illustrations are enhancing to the story and show simple things that are not seen in the text. The placement of the characters and the expressions given to them also enhances the meaning of the text. The colors used were different depending on the time of day and had a similar theme of being bright ...more
May 24, 2010 Devin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Koala Lou is a picture book that examines what happens when a family starts to expand. At one time or another, each and every one of us have felt like an outsider in our own home. Koala Lou just wants some attention and love from her mother; and how better to do it than join the Olympics! This picture book demonstrates the universal concept of the never-ending love a parent has for their child. The pictures in the book are really fun and compliment the text very well. All in all, Koala Lou is a ...more
Sep 29, 2015 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
"But it was her mother who loved her most of all. A hundred times a day she would laugh and shake her head and say, 'Koala Lou, I DO love you!'"

This one was a childhood favorite. It's a very touching story about little Koala Lou whose mother tells her how much she loves her, every single day. After her siblings are born though, her mother becomes too busy to tell her, and Koala Lou makes a plan to win her mother's affection once again. While the story seems a bit sad, it's ultimately a sweet sto
Phuong Dao
Oct 22, 2010 Phuong Dao rated it it was amazing
I love this book so much because it is about a little Koala and her mom. Little Koala Lou and her mom has a very strong bonding. As her mom has more babies, she does not have to to tell Koala Lou that she loves her. Koala Lou felt left out at some point, and tried to find different ways to impress her mom, but Koala Lou doesn't know that her mom always whisper to her that she loves her everyday. I think this book is really good to teach children how to make connection with the text. Text to self ...more
Vanessa Arredondo
Feb 20, 2012 Vanessa Arredondo rated it liked it
The text is focused on the middle of the page. It switches from the left page to the right as it either gives importance or suggests adventure. The Koala tries hard to get the attention from her mother which represents are real life situation. The color white is all over the book and it borders some illustrations. The other colors very depend on the animals that are shown. The book suggests lots of adventure from beginning to end. Some of the illustrations are centered but they do change positio ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Wombat Stew
  • Hazel's Amazing Mother
  • Edwina the Emu
  • Too Much Noise
  • Where the Forest Meets the Sea
  • Who Sank the Boat?
  • The Water Hole
  • Sheila Rae, the Brave
  • Hairy Maclary's Bone
  • Are We There Yet?: A Journey Around Australia
  • Now One Foot, Now the Other
  • Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley
  • Diary of a Wombat
  • A Bus Called Heaven
  • The Great Turkey Race
  • The Wonky Donkey
  • The Very Cranky Bear
Mem Fox was born in Australia, grew up in Africa, studied drama in England, and returned to Adelaide, Australia in 1970, where she has lived with her husband, Malcolm, and daughter Chloë, happily ever after.

Mem Fox is Australia’s most highly regarded picture-book author. Her first book, Possum Magic, is the best selling children’s book ever in Australia, with sales of over three million. And in th
More about Mem Fox...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »