Review of Wombats Are Pretty Weird: A (Not So) Serious Guide

Wombats Are Pretty Weird: A (Not So) Serious Guide Wombats Are Pretty Weird: A (Not So) Serious Guide
by Abi Cushman; illus. by the author
Primary    Greenwillow    40 pp.
5/23    9780063234437    $19.99

Cushman combines clear, cartoonlike digital illustrations with a lucid and humorous narrative to introduce young readers to wombats. After outlining features of their genus of marsupials (e.g., the young are called joeys like all marsupials, but unlike others the mother’s pouch faces backward), she introduces the three species: the Southern Hairy-Nosed, the Northern Hairy-Nosed, and the Bare-Nosed wombats. As a snake kibitzing throughout the pages states, these names are right “on the nose.” The chatty text covers wombats’ herbivorous diet, their cube-shaped poop, the fact that their teeth never stop growing, and their burrow homes. Conversational balloons add information with a touch of humor: “Guess what? I’m making BARK for dinner tonight.” Appended with basic scientific facts, such as the size and weight of all three species; a glossary; and suggestions (primarily internet) for further inquiry. A visual game asking readers to identify additional Australian animals completes this entertaining and informative volume.

From the July/August 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Betty Carter
Betty Carter, an independent consultant, is professor emerita of children’s and young adult literature at Texas Woman’s University.

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