Monday 13 June 2022

Wombat Can’t Sing

Wombat Can’t Sing by Katie Stewart (Fremantle Press) HB RRP $24.99 ISBN 9781760991456

Reviewed by Nikki M Heath

‘Always be yourself. If you can’t be yourself, be a wombat.’ Lovely advice on the dedication page and a clear indication of the theme of this simple picture book. 

When Fantail invites Wombat to sing with her, Wombat initially brushes her off - after all, wombat’s can’t sing. Or can they? After having second thoughts, Wombat seeks advice from a series of ‘singing’ animals of the bush. But each time, he fails, finally escaping the rain in his burrow. On emerging to find a sopping wet, miserable Fantail, Wombat comes to appreciate what he can do, and stops worrying about what he can’t.

This book has a familiar structure and few surprises, with the wonderfully realistic yet characterful illustrations providing humour and emotional depth. There are also some fun sound effects which will entertain a read-aloud audience.

A gorgeous entry point to a discussion of accepting our strengths and weaknesses for children aged 2 to 5.

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