Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Wombat Jumped Over the Moon

Wombat Jumped Over the Moon illustrated by Lachlan Creagh (Lothian/Hachette)
PB RRP $14.99
ISBN: 9780734415554
Reviewed by Hilary Smillie
This great in-house picture book is bursting with lively Aussie bush animals having fun and games on a sunny day. With only one piece of delicious cake left over from their picnic, each of the animal friends decide to do tricks with the best one winning the cake.
Kookaburra does a triple somersault and twist; Echidna dances to Kangaroo's fiddle music; Emu does the hula hoop with three hoops and there are more tricks to follow. There is much applause each time and Wombat is worried. Will his trick stand a chance?
By the time it is Wombat's turn, night has fallen. Wombat's trick is based on the rhyme, Hey diddle diddle but instead of the cow jumping over the moon, Wombat launches himself off a rock to seem as if he is jumping over the rising moon. It is a wonderful trick which makes all the animals laugh, and they decide to share the cake, eating it with spoons.
Creagh's animal interpretations are always humorous and appealing; often dramatic. The background washes in eucalyptus grey-greens and vivid sunset colours; the dark brown of the rocks; the star studded velvety skies, all add a a touch of Aussie magic. The text flows in curves along each spread, with many words highlighted for emphasis. I found the front and end piece illustrations striking, with the animals shown as a line of silhouettes above a chocolate earth performing their tricks against fiery evening skies.

Wombat Jumped Over the Moon, Creagh's fourth title, will prove a popular choice for young readers.

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