Friday, November 27, 2009

Diary of a Wombat by Jackie French

I know wombats are good with a Nativity play, but what do they do during the rest of the year? Sleep. Eat. Scratch. Repeat.

At least that’s the daily routine for this wombat until new neighbors – Humans! – move in. Then much of his time is spent training them.

He demonstrates proper cleanliness in the perfect dust bath next to the barbecue. He protects his new neighbors by attacking a creature invading their territory - a flat, hairy creature with mysterious W-E-L-C-O-M-E markings on its back. After winning the battle, he demands and receives a reward. A delicious carrot.

Later he demands more carrots. Upon receiving none, he promptly chews through the door. The additional reward is given. “Ate carrots. Scratched. Went to sleep.”

Along with the new neighbors there are numerous other new activities. Furniture to scratch against, garbage cans to bang, soft flower beds perfect for digging, a variety of items to chew, and wet clothing hanging from a clothesline to pull down. There’s also more and more carrots. Then there are oats. Then there are oats AND carrots. This wombat enjoys his new friends so much, he creates a new hole, a new home, to be as near to them as possible.

Kids will like Bruce Whatley's simple yet funny pictures. Why is a wombat scratching against lawn furniture funny? Who cares? It just is. So are the clouds billowing around him in his dust bath and his innocent eyes peering through a new hole in the door.

There are also plenty of pictures of him scratching. As his Tuesday entry reads, “Scratched. Hard to reach the itchy bits.” Seeing him try induces serious giggles. Kids and grown-ups alike will titter through Jackie French’s Diary of a Wombat.

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