Charles Fuge, Little Wombat’s Easter Surprise, Walker Books, February 2022, 28 pp., RRp $24.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781760654269
Little Wombat, like other animals in the bush where he lives, is hunting for Easter eggs. While doing so, he meets Bilby and Rabbit (although he at first mistakes Bilby for Rabbit thinking Rabbit is in disguise) and they compare the eggs they have found, try jumping (Wombat is not very good at this) and Bilby and Rabbit show how well they can hear with their big ears. But when they all dig burrows, Wombat’s prowess is on display and his burrow is the biggest and best. They decide to have a sleepover and a midnight feast; Bilby hides some of her eggs in the burrows of her new friends and Koala comes to join the party.
The layout is varied with the placement of text and illustrations changing on a number of pages. The written text is quite extensive, and the book can be enjoyed as a read-aloud and discussion starter as well as by newly independent readers. The illustrations are lively and engaging and the animals display both characteristics appropriate to their species as well as the facial expressions of the anthropomorphic animals appropriate to creatures collecting Easter eggs, talking, and carrying out the other activities used by the author to make the point about the importance of sharing.
This is a story that illustrates the importance of sharing, that each of us has a skill and that life is not a competition. Fun shared is fun doubled – or, in this case, quadrupled!
Reviewed by Margot Hillel