The Snow Wombat By Susannah Chambers
Published by Allen & Unwin
When we see a picture book set in the Australian bush we naturally expect the earthy colours of our brown land to jump from the pages, so it’s an unexpected delight to read The Snow Wombat, which is just as Australian as all the others, but with gorgeous pictures featuring the white and blue-green palette of the snowy Australian highlands in winter.
Wombat is having fun as he meanders across the snow-covered hills, beginning near the stockman’s hut and wandering on past the woolybutt. He enjoys looking at snow on distant mountains, on the gums, on the robin’s beak, on the riverbank and on the skiers as they slide rapidly past him. He passes young riders, whose horses have snow on their flanks. He sees snow on some crows and on a possum as it swings by its tail from the branch of a tree.
Snow is everywhere, but best of all, it’s on Wombat…on his nose, in his ears and even on his round tum. At the end of the day, as wind and hail stirs up the snow, he rolls down the hill to the only place he knows the snow can’t reach; his warm den. At last he can sleep.
This is a gentle tale for littlies about one of our iconic native creatures. It also expresses the happiness achieved from the simple and tactile appreciation of nature and having fun in the outdoors. Told in rhyme, the text and pictures allow the reader to imagine what Wombat would experience as he trundles along and plays in the snow that’s falling all around him.
A lovely touch is a double-page map of Wombat’s tracks, displaying the highlights of Wombat’s journey as he winds his way home from the stockman’s hut. The map is an ideal means by which young children can revisit the sequence of the story, perhaps this time in their own words. Great for adults to work through with young readers too.
CKT Book Reviewer
Author: Susannah Chambers
Illustrator: Mark Jackson
Title: The Snow Wombat
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Published: July 2016