Friday 30 October 2020

Combat Wombat to the Rescue

Combat Wombat to the Rescue
by Gina Newton and illustrated by Tiffanee Daley, (Ford Street Publishing) ISBN 9781925804577 RRP $16.95

Reviewed by Claire Stuckey

Combat Wombat lives in the bush surrounded by his animal friends. One day he smells burning gum leaves, he hears crackling and he feels the ground shaking: there is a bush fire! Combat Wombat immediately responds, delegating tasks to some animals and calling for an evacuation to Billabong Island. Despite some challenges the animals work together to achieve a haven on the island. The story provides a nice way for families to reflect on last year’s terrible bush fires. Children should understand that there are real dangers during a bushfire, but animals can survive. The text contains some rhyme and homage to Australian and international classic picture books.

Combat Wombat shows leadership and mimics the role of the real rural fire service volunteers. However, I did have an issue with the way the kangaroo is shown assisting the echidnas over the water by kicking them. Combat Wombat adds to the growing collection of Australian picture books that discuss bushfires and this is a positive for families. 

My granddaughter enjoyed the story although I added some discussion points which included not going into tunnels with fencing and warning signs. Suitable for ages 2-5 years.


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