Tuesday 26 July 2011

Hairy Nose, Itchy Butt

Hairy Nose, Itchy Butt by Elizabeth Frankel, illustrated by Garry Duncan (Exisle Publishing)
PB RRP $19.95
ISBN 978 0 980812 92 3
Reviewed by Vicki Stanton

Hairy Nose, Itchy Butt is an entertaining story about a Hairy Nosed-Wombat who has an itch to scratch but nowhere to itch it! He finds his regular scratching post is gone and goes in search of a replacement. To his dismay, all his other options have been removed too.Finally, with some help from another wombat, he makes it to a conservation park where he can scratch his itch and finds a safe place to live away from the damaging activities of humans.

Children will enjoy the rhyme of this fast-paced text and giggle at poor wombat's dilemma. Garry Duncan's wombat is expressive and funny while the boldly coloured illustrations also depict the serious underlying environmental theme. As the factual information at the end of the book explains, habitat loss is threatening the survival of the Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombat. Land use, whether it be for farms, recreation, housing, or roads, cuts into the wombat's environment destroying its food sources and warrens.

Hairy Nose, Itchy Butt would be perfect for class discussions on Australian animals and environment as it is a great way to introduce kids to serious issues without overwhelming them with dry facts and figures. An added benefit is that a portion of the proceeds of this book goes towards Conservation Ark wombat conservation.

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