Possum Games by Michelle Worthington
Published by Wombat Books
Every night we hear the loud thuds, followed by the pitter patter of small feet on our tin roof, and we wonder what those pesky little possums are getting up to. Well, now we know... they're competing in The Possum Games.
Michelle Worthington and illustrator Sandra Temple, known for her beautiful drawings of Australian animals, have together brought us the fun, playful tale, Possum Games.
A family of possums play on a rusty tin roof near a tall mango tree. They have a hopping good time; competing against each other in high jump and tug-of-war events, running races around the veranda, and long jump and thud on the roof. All except shy little Riley. He just can't keep up, and their thunderous racket simply frightens him as he shelters in the mango tree.
Even when Riley finds a scrap of courage to participate in The Possum Games, his efforts fall flat, just like the mango and watermelon that don't make it very far off the ground. In team sports like soap sliding and cricket, Riley's confidence is shot and he feels he's not as good as the rest.
But it is the fed-up humans that bring out the best in Riley. As hard green mangos are pelted at him, he discovers his amazing talent in the art of mango dodging. Darting, weaving, diving and ducking, Riley becomes the champion and is finally awarded with a gold medal.
The story closes with little touch of humour, Riley offering the humans a homemade pair of mango seed ear muffs.
In true Michelle Worthington style, Possum Games provides readers with a delightfully integrated lesson; that you don't have to be the best at everything, but with courage and determination you can find your special talent that will set you apart from others. Worthington's gentle, descriptive phrasing is nicely coupled with Sandra Temple's expressive and soft, watercolour pencil pictures.
Possum Games is a fun, active tale that will engage children from five and up.
CKT Book Reviewer
Author: Michelle Worthington
Illustrator: Sandra Temple
Title: Possum Games
Publisher: Wombat Books
Published: August 2014