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Wombat Walkabout Hardcover – March 19, 2009

5 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A read-aloud with an Aussie accent, this bouncy rhyming tale of wandering wombats delivers age-appropriate suspense as well as a countdown. Six roly-poly brown wombats stroll, single file, in a dusty desert: They didn't see the dingo with the hungry eye,/ 'I've a hunch my lunch just walked on by!'  One by one, the wombats bringing up the rear stop to pick a gum nut or listen to a kookaburra bird, and the party diminishes (and then there were five). Shields (Lunch Money) does not reveal their fate, and readers will suspect the worst. In sandy watercolor hues, Blackall (Meet Wild Boars) individuates the plump, bearish wombats via accessories, like a paper hat or string of beads, while the swaggering dingo favors a pipe. She lets the foxy-orange dingo's pointy ears or long, sinister nose protrude from behind gray rocks and twisted trees; kids will enjoy hunting the villain in her offbeat, detailed spreads.A glossary demystifies the lingo from Oz. Ages 3–5. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Kindergarten-Grade 2—This fun glimpse of the Australian outback is written in a rhyming text that's a joy to read aloud. Six woolly wombats go on a walkabout, and the dingo that spots them is sure that he's just discovered his lunch. One by one, a wombat strays from the others until only Jen and Jack are left. Hiding by the trail, they spy the dingo with a large sack that's jumping about. Immediately they make a pit trap and lure the unsuspecting dingo into it. Four thankful wombats escape and six happy wombats walk back home two by two for tea. The meanings of the Aussie words are easily understood from the context, but the short glossary found before the story is still nice to have. The illustrations, which are bathed in pale browns, yellows, oranges, and blues, are an excellent complement to the text. Blackall uses a "less is more" approach to the art that successfully allows readers to focus on the animals, their expressions, and the flora around them. Since the wombats tend to look alike, the artist has adorned each of them with one accessory to give them individuality. This delightful story with its themes of friendship and nature could be perfectly paired with Jackie French's Diary of a Wombat (Clarion, 2003) and Mem Fox's Koala Lou (Harcourt, 1989) for an Australian-themed storytime.—Catherine Callegari, Gay-Kimball Library, Troy, NH
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 5 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - Kindergarten
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers (March 19, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525478655
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525478652
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 0.4 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #326,879 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a delightful read for large and small. One of those picture books where the villain lurks somewhere... on every page. The wombats on their walkabout introduce us to the uniqueness of Australia. The language,the drawings great. I had a hard time packaging it up and sending it off to my niece's twins I was having so much fun reading it out loud.
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This is my daughter's absolute favorite book and has been for over half her life (she's now 6 and has loved this book since she first saw it in the library when she was 3). The story is adorable, and the artwork is wonderful. My daughter's favorite animal is the wombat because of this book. I bought the cutest wombat plush toy from World Wildlife Fund (as part of their "adopt an animal" donation program). She named it "Pru" after one of the characters in this book. Pru is well loved in our family!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great book. My kids (4, 2) love it and ask me to read it nightly. It has a lovely rhythm.
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By Samira P. on October 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is a cute counting book that also teaches some Australian lingo. My kindergarteners loved it. Great way to talk about geography too.
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Having lived in Australia, including Tasmania, where I actually saw wombats in the wild, this book brought back vivid memories for me of my own profound experiences in the rich and ancient land of wattles, red rock, eucalypts, hot sands and primordial forests, and much more. I enjoyed reading the story and watching the wombats in this story traipse through the Australian landscape pursued by the scheming dingo as much as I think children will be delighted by the irresistible dalliances presented by the Australian wilds, the richly rendered images inviting youngsters to join the journey with the wombats, and to worry about the whereabouts of their companions. The font used is whimsical and completely appropriate, and they simple rhymes make reading and counting fun. Definitely a charming little book, as enjoyable for adults to re-read again and again as for their little ones (who hopefully will get to learn a little bit about Australia along the way!)
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I had ordered some books for my 3-year old and put them in a box then shipped the box out to where we were moving... He found the box a week ago and picked out this book and it stays beside him while he sleeps at night! He looks for the dingo at every page and counts each wombat when they start disappearing. It definitely keeps his attention with every page turn, and he wants to read it over and over again! After a few reads, he learned each wombat by name. As a parent, I love that it gives him a cultural experience learning about other animals (& things) from other parts of the world. The pictures are beautiful and the wombats are adorable with characters of their own. A must buy for any toddler!
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Format: Hardcover
There were six chubby little wombats named Jen, Jack, Theodore, Pru, Clive and Lee. They "went walkabout," with Clive bringing up the rear. As they ambled along they didn't notice the hungry dingo who said to himself, "I've a hunch my lunch just walked on by." The wombats, walking in a single file, had no idea when Clive, who stopped to smell some flowers, was no longer in the back of the group. After they crossed the "bridge at the billabong" Theodore was missing. Hmmm, only four of the original group was still ambling along and they didn't even notice.

Next when Lee stopped to listen to the kookaburra . . . well, I bet you know he went missing too. Pru stopped to pick up a gum nut and then there were only two chubby wombats left. It was pretty darn quiet and they finally noticed something was wrong. Jen and Jack were alarmed when they noticed that big old dingo, his "tail a-wag, and on his back a big swag bag!" They knew their friends were in that bag and they had to think of an ingenious plan to get them out. Were the two remaining wombats going to end up as the dingo's lunch or would they save the day and rescue their pals?

The cheerful, adorable art work and the story mesh perfectly to bring the flavor of Australia to the young reader. In the front of the book there is a short glossary of words that appear in the book, many that are unfamiliar to most children (unless of course they live in Australia). This is a fun book to introduce a bit of Australia to children and, if you are so inclined, to burst into song when you see that kookaburra. "Laugh, kookaburra! laugh kookaburra!" . . . you're going to love to read this book with your child!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Good social skills book, keeping body in the group and great for lessons on predictions and reading facial cues.
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