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Diary of a Baby Wombat

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Overview

The inimitable wombat who shared her adventures (eating, scratching, digging, sleeping) in the wildly successful Diary of a Wombat is back–with a baby! This time, it's the baby who tells the story. And a perfect wombat story it is, featuring eating, scratching, digging, sleeping, and playing, as well as the important task of finding a new underground home big enough for baby and Mum. Wry, understated humor and gorgeous, funny illustrations make this new picture book a brilliant ...

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Overview

The inimitable wombat who shared her adventures (eating, scratching, digging, sleeping) in the wildly successful Diary of a Wombat is back–with a baby! This time, it's the baby who tells the story. And a perfect wombat story it is, featuring eating, scratching, digging, sleeping, and playing, as well as the important task of finding a new underground home big enough for baby and Mum. Wry, understated humor and gorgeous, funny illustrations make this new picture book a brilliant next chapter in the wombat saga.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The slothful star of 2003's Diary of Wombat is now a "mum" (reflecting the book's Australian setting), and her chubby blue offspring takes center stage. And while the wombats' talent for sleep continues to set them apart, it's nice to know that certain things are common across species; when the baby becomes annoying (he uses his mother's stomach as a trampoline), "Mum decided it was time to PLAY... OUTSIDE!" He meets up with a human baby who becomes his playmate (they splash each other with a hose and try out each others' morning snacks--grass and a bottle of milk), and inadvertently helps the ever-expanding (in terms of girth) wombat family find more spacious digs. The story itself is almost incidental: the real fun comes from the interplay of French's laconic journalizing ("Afternoon: Played" and "Morning: Woke up. BORED..." are typical entries), the poker-faced typography, and Whatley's wry acrylic spot illustrations, which unspool on a single plane like a droll parade, suggesting the kind of long, leisurely days that seem to stretch on forever. Ages 5-8. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Using the similar engaging format of Diary of a Wombat, French writes the terse baby wombat's description of his days from a Monday to a Sunday. Three "Slept." Statements followed by "Woke up." begin Monday's double page. Outside with his mum, he finds a human baby to play with. They play again on Tuesday. On Wednesday he and his mum begin searching for a new bigger hole, continuing into Thursday. From Friday to Sunday, their digging leads to the discovery of "the most ENORMOUS hole!" and a very funny surprise ending. Whatley's acrylics produce huggable, almost naturalistic youngsters engaged in light-hearted activities like playing with a ball or spraying hose across the double pages. A fringe of grass or dark underground tunnel serves as the barest of settings; the text resembles hand printing. This is a jolly introduction to the Australian native animal. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—As delectable in tone and delivery as the beloved Diary of a Wombat (Clarion, 2003), this title is told from the perspective of a baby wombat that makes multiple creative attempts to find the family a bigger home. Mum and baby are growing out of their burrow. They can't find a place big enough for them until the young wombat finds a human toddler friend who invites them to live in his "hole." This arrangement isn't successful, but children will be charmed by the friendship formed during the child and the animal's play. While the text, floating in plenty of white, reads simply: "Morning: Woke up.../Dug a new hole. /Afternoon: Scratched," the deft acrylic illustrations depict a sequence of vignettes laid out across the bottom margin of the page, reminiscent of a flip book laid out flat: baby wombat waddling out of a cramped burrow; toddler making a sand castle with baby wombat digging alongside; baby wombat scratching on a young tree, causing a bird's nest to fall on the toddler's head. The typeface is childlike, etched, and irregular. Beginning readers have just enough text to gain confidence while the illustrations provide oodles more meaning and endless laughs. It is a text begging for inference. For more wombat facts, pair this with French's How to Scratch a Wombat (Clarion, 2009).—Sara Lissa Paulson, American Sign Language and English Lower School PS 347, New York City
Kirkus Reviews
If this duo's minimalist Diary of a Wombat (2003) was a textbook example of words and art together creating narrative, then this sequel is equally an exemplar of what can go wrong when you try to apply a formula to success. In look and feel, this offspring's parentage is obvious: Across broad, white double-page spreads are placed vignettes of an adorable wombat baby and his mum, above which range its diary entries. "Monday / Early morning: Slept. / Slept. / Late morning: Slept. / Woke up." Although this joey spends plenty of time sleeping, it does have youthful energy, which it expends in playful havoc both by itself and with the toddler who lives in the "GIANT hole" adjacent to the too-small burrow it shares with its mother. As before, Whatley's acrylics explore the subtext beneath the diary entries, producing many chuckle-worthy moments. Still, the air of freshness that blew through the first book is absent here; better to buy a new copy of the first than to invest in this rerun. (Picture book. 5-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780007352982
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/28/2011

Meet the Author

Jackie French is a highly esteemed writer for children and adults with more than 100 books to her credit. She lives in Australia with her family and usually one or more wombats. Her web site is www.jackiefrench.com.

Bruce Whatley was born in Wales and now lives with his family in Australia. He has illustrated more than 50 children's books, some of which he also wrote.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2012

    Fun

    Delightful

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