Sunday 7 November 2010

W is for Wombat

W is for Wombat  by Bronwyn Bancroft (Little Hare Books)
PB RRP $16.99
ISBN 978-1-921541-85-8
Reviewed by Simone Zmood

The thing that grabs you about W is for Wombat is the large, bold colour illustrations and indigenous dot technique.  They draw attention to the front cover of the book and this style is delivered throughout.  Most pages have a single, solid colour background which is not overwhelming for a young child, though a few pages do have a vibrant background scene.  The strong colours used are those routinely associated with the Australian outback including rust red, blue, green and gold.

There is typically one word per page in very large, easy-to-read black font. The A-Z words themselves capture a range of iconic Australian animals such cockatoos, dingo, emu, goanna, joey, koala, magpie, platypus, and wombat.  Some less well-known Australian animals are also included such as lyrebird, numbat, quokka, and yabby.  A boomerang features early on and this is the only iconic Australian object.  There are also a range of items which are not unique to Australia but will capture a young child’s interest, including creatures such as ants, hawk, owl, unicorn fish, and zebra fish, and the more ubiquitous island, river, sun, tree, and vine.

W is for Wombat is subtitled “My First Australian Word Book” and the back cover proclaims this as “a first book of Australian words for the very young”.  The book is well-suited to capture the interest of babies through to 3 years.  Beyond that age, the book could be used to discuss artistic style and indigenous culture, but there is no storyline to maintain the interest of an older preschool child. 

It is a delight to welcome another feast for the eyes by noted artist and illustrator Bronwyn Bancroft.  W is for Wombat was first published in 2008, and this edition was released in mid-2010.

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