Diary of a Wombat
The star of this story was based on a wombat named Mothball. Mothball was found barely alive after being viciously mauled by dogs and was rushed to a vet. With little chance of surviving, the vet worked on her for hours. Mothball was a tough little wombat and despite her injuries, she recovered. She was badly scarred so her fur grew back in patches, making her look moth-eaten, hence her name, Mothball. Keep reading…
Australian dynamic duo Jackie French and Bruce Whatley, author and illustrator of Diary of a Wombat, bring to us an unlikely hero. What exactly do wombats do all day? Eat and sleep and then eat and sleep some more, a rather dull routine but this is far from being a dull story. Told from the wombat’s point of view, French’s tongue-in-cheek delivery paints a whimsical picture of an always-hungry creature that has trained his human neighbours to provided carrots on command: “Have decided that humans are easily trained and make quite good pets.”
Cute, cute, cute – Bruce Whatley’s illustrations are adorable! The text creates the humour in the story, but I think the illustrations capture the personality of the creature: round, solid and slow-moving. You can almost imagine the soft velvety coat of the wombat by the way Whatley paints the creature, using soft round edges with rich dark brown paints. Keeping details to a minimal, he illustrates the wombat in numerous poses and expressions on a spacious white background. There is no question as to who the star of the story is.
Diary of a Wombat, a children’s book reviewed by Thao Lam
Author Jackie French
Jackie French began writing when she was 30, in an attempt to earn some money to register her car. Her first children’s book was said to have been the dirtiest and most misspelled manuscript to ever come across the desk of a Harper Collin’s editor. She claims it’s hard to keep animal droppings off your typewriter when you’re living in a shed with a black snake named Gladys, a wallaby named Fred, and a wombat named Smudge, and even harder to keep your spelling correct when you are dyslexic. French has a soft spot for animals and is a member of the local Wildcare, which looks after injured wildlife before returning them to the wilderness. She is also the director of The Wombat Foundation, an organization the helps raises funds for the preservation of endangered northern hairy-nosed wombat.
To find out more about Jackie French, please visit her website:www.jackiefrench.com
Check out the bonus feature, read more on the story behind Diary of a Wombat www.jackiefrench.com/wombat
Illustrator Bruce Whatley
Bruce Whatley’s career started in advertising as an art director, and he wrote and painted only in his spare time. Born in South Australia, Whatley moved to the United Kingdom to study visual communication and end up staying ten years before moving back to Australia. Looking back at the television commercials he wrote, Whatley realized that, actually, he’s been writing children’s books all along, just in a different medium.
Publisher Clarion Books; American edition (August 18, 2003)