Diary of a Wombat
Diary of a Wombat cover
Diary of a Wombatby Jackie French
Illustrated by Bruce Whatley
- Age Range: 5-8 years
- Length: 32 pages
- Format: Hardcover and Paperback
- Size: 8.6 x 11.8 inches
- First Published: 2002
Diary of a Wombat is probably the best wombat book you're ever likely to find. Although it's officially a children's book, you shouldn't let that deter you from enjoying its simple, endearing story no matter what your age.
The story is short, approximately 350 words, with a surprising amount of humor and would be suitable for virtually anyone, probably younger, and definitely much older, than the 5-8 recommended age.
Diary of a Wombat is written, quite literally, as entries in a diary by a wombat named Mothball. The story covers eight days in the life of this persistent wombat who interacts with a human family and causes them a great deal of trouble. Not intentionally, but just by being a wombat who does what comes naturally. The writing is excellent; abbreviated sentences edited down to their essence with not a single wasted word. Jackie French is obviously a talented, experienced author as the story has a great deal of charm and is expertly told with deceptively simple text.
The humorous artwork by Bruce Whatley precisely captures the personality of the playful, mischievous Mothball. The artwork is uncluttered, stylized, expressive, and faithfully matches the tone of the story. It also adds a good deal of interpretation to the text, and doesn't merely illustrate it.
The overall design of the book is very inviting, light and airy with an abundance of white space. It has a pleasing layout, utilizing an appropriate hand-lettered style font for the text of the wombat's diary.
In summary, Diary of a Wombat is a delightful book, a near perfect combination of story and pictures that will entertain all. The only thing that could make it better would be a sequel.
Five out of five stars
by Peter Marinacci
Jan. 20, 2006