Title : Wombat Goes Walkabout
Author : Michael Morpurgo
Illustrator : Christian Birmingham
Publisher : Harper Collins
ISBN : 978-0-00-780285-2
This is a story of a digging and thinking Wombat. He woke up one fine day and got engaged in his favorite activities - he dug a deep hole, crawled into it and started wondering and thinking - 'Why is the sky blue?' and 'Why am I a wombat and not a kangaroo?'. After some time he came out of his dugout and started looking for his mother who was nowhere to be seen. So he went in search of his mother inside the forest where he met different kinds of creatures - a flying Kookaburra, a hopping and jumping Wallaby, a hanging upside down and swinging by his tail Possum, a scampering and scooting around in crazy circles Emu, a jumping, running, swinging and hunting little boy and a dozing, snoozing and snoring Koala. All these creatures showed off their awesome feats to the wombat and did not think much of what wombat could do - digging and thinking. But this changed soon enough when a forest fire threatened to engulf all living creatures. No amount of jumping, hopping, swinging, scampering and running could save them now. Wombat came up with a brilliant idea and he knew what to do - the tasks that he did the best and that are his favorite activities - he thought and he dug deeper and deeper holes. These were the same humble skills of Wombat which finally came handy in the time of danger when the other creatures were at the verge of loosing their lives.
Simple and sweet story reinforces the values of respecting the uniqueness and different-ness of every creature and how every creature is good at something.
The repetitive text always works for the young readers . The illustrations by Christina Birmingham are combination of pencil sketches bringing simplicity and colored paintings giving the actual feel of the woods. The picture of the endearing little wombat on the cover page is sure to make an impression on the young readers' minds.