The 'Possum in the Pool
by Joy Liebl

"Robby didn’t listen! He walked right to the edge of the pool and fell in!"

Robby the opossum loves to go exploring with his mother, brothers, and sisters. One day the opossum family explores a home where the humans leave food out to eat and where there is a big pool with bushes in which to hide. Once Robby gets his belly full, his curiosity grabs him and he creeps slowly toward the swimming pool. Even though Robby’s mother has warned him, he still gets too close and tumbles right into the pool. Robby’s mother tries everything to save her son. She sticks out her paw, dunks her tail in the pool, and even sticks in her nose to try to grab him as he floats by but nothing works. Robby’s mother tells him he will have to find a safe place to float until the human family gets up the next morning and can come save him. The next morning, the humans do save a very frightened, very cold Robby by using the pool net. From that day on, when Robby’s mother tells him to stay away from the dangerous pool, Robby listens!

Liebl has created a cautionary tale by expressing a mother’s concern over her children, be it human or animal. She uses her story to teach her young readers how important it is to listen to their parent’s advice and to always be careful and vigilant when in a new place, unlike her curious character Robby. Robby chooses not to listen to his mother and in turn ends up nearly drowning in a pool—an event which educates Liebl’s young readers about the consequences of not listening to a parent’s rules. The author’s book is a fun and educational way to teach children to follow directions, listen to adults, and recognize the dangers of not obeying rules.

Return to USR Home