Shannon (Giraffe Days)'s Reviews > Diary of a Wombat

Diary of a Wombat by Jackie French
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's review
Jul 17, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2010, childrens, favourite, picture-book, re-read, hughs-shelf, australian-women-writers
Read in July, 2010 — I own a copy

This is one of my favourite picture books, ever since it first came out, and it's taken me seven years to finally get a copy - but the wait is worth it.

Wombats are lazy animals - cousin to the koala, which is only awake for about 45 mins a day - and oh so adorable. When I was in Grade 6 I did an assignment on the hairy-nosed wombat, and learnt about their unique defence tactic: like koalas, wombats have a hard plate of bone on their lower back. Koalas use this for sleeping in the fork of branches high up in trees. Wombats use it differently - when threatened by a dingo (the dog breed the Aborigines brought with them many thousands of years ago), the wombat will run for its burrow. The dingo follows, and when it tries to jump on the wombat's back to crush the neck with its jaws, the wombat will lift itself on its powerful, earth-moving legs and crush the dingo between the hard plate of the wombat's back and the roof of the burrow. Pretty cool huh? I was very impressed by this, back in Grade 6, and I've never forgotten it.

Also, and I was hoping to have more info on this for you, my parents once had a "pet" wombat. So much of Diary of a Wombat rings true because of their stories - anyone who's had a "pet" wombat would no doubt agree (I'm sure the author has had one too at some stage). They're not pets like cats and dogs are, they just sort-of adopt you, like the wombat in this story. My parents had theirs - and I don't know what they called it, or how they came to have it, but I think it was a male - long before I was born, when they lived in Thornby Cottage. A couple of stories have always stuck with me: it took an aversion to one of their friends and had to be shut away when she visited; it really would scratch holes right through doors; and it once fell asleep behind a tyre of my uncle's car without anyone knowing it was there - when he backed out he ran over the wombat, but because of that hard plate on its back I was telling you about, it was fine, just got up and waddled away.

So they're real characters, wombats. Diary of a Wombat is written from the wombat's perspective, and is incredibly adorable and funny. Her diary consists of sleeping, eating, scratching, and sleeping some more - until a family of humans moves in and she discovers she can get some tasty food if she bangs on tin rubbish bins. She's also protective of this new family, and valiantly does battle with the flat hairy creature (the doormat) before demanding a reward.

Now I just need to get the next book, Diary of a Baby Wombat. I wouldn't mind getting hold of some of her other books too - I like the sound of Pete the Sheep-Sheep! :D
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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i recommend this book - it is excellent!!!

Shannon (Giraffe Days) Thanks Karen!! I've just put in an order with TBD! :D

Lisa Vegan I adore this book. I didn't know about the book Diary of a BABY Wombat. Onto the list...

Shannon (Giraffe Days) Lisa wrote: "I adore this book. I didn't know about the book Diary of a BABY Wombat. Onto the list..."

It's so great to find that people in the States have read this and loved it too! Makes me so happy :)

Lisa Vegan Shannon, I found it because of Goodreads. Of course. Of course, now some of my non-Goodreads friends' children have copies of this wonderful book! ;-)

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