Tuesday 24 June 2014

A Feast for Wombat

Feast for Wombat by Sally Morgan, illustrated by Tania Erzinger (Omnibus Books)
HB RRP $24.99
ISBN 978-1-74299-018-7
Reviewed by Jenny Heslop

When Wombat ventures outside from his warm, snug burrow he meets his friends who are having lots of fun. He would like to join in but is not sure that he has any special talents. Goanna is a fast climber, Magpie can sing beautifully and Dingo is the cleverest dancer around. They all try to teach Wombat, but he needs to find his own special skill.
This is a lovely story about the strength of friendship, about giving time to friends and about the importance of finding your place amongst them.
Feast For Wombat is beautifully written and conjures up lovely images. Wombat thinks Dingo dances 'like the clouds', and Magpie sings like 'a beautiful bubbling stream'. The story has a structured rhythm, repeating similar actions for each animal.
The gentle nature of the story is echoed in the illustrations. They have a soft dreamy quality to them. Using the muted, earthy colours of the Australian landscape, Erzinger depicts these four friends as being very much at home within their environment. Their facial expressions, especially Wombat’s, are wonderful.  And following along, if you look carefully, is a little hopping mouse (not mentioned in the text) who gets involved in the action.
Sally Morgan is an Australian Aboriginal author who has written many stories for all ages and is widely known for her first children's book My Place.

Tania Erzinger is an artist who loves to draw, paint and do collage. Feast for Wombat is her first picture book.

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