There is a profile for each of the children inside either the front or back covers. It’s worth reading them before and then again after you read the story for the first time. In the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit that I was sold on this book before I turned beyond the endpages inside the front cover where I was introduced to Audrey Gaudrey who includes the following line in her profile – ‘Enemy: Ava, because she misplaces her apostrophes.’ I thought I was the only person who judged people based on apostrophe abuse.
Roland Harvey has brought his wonderful sense of humour and discerning eye for the chaotic, entertaining details of everyday life into this very enjoyable picture book. From the names of the students (such as Oliver Hammenex, Naucia Compostine, Ima Lemington, Horrie Bull and Dante Pozzebon) to their youthful antics at camp, this story is sure to have readers of all ages smiling.
If you’ve ever been to camp, you’ll find scenes to trigger your memories – flying foxes, campfire meals, torchlight ghost stories and ‘entertaining’ performances and skits. Performance night on camp with the Wombats sees Audrey cementing her place as my favourite with her play titled ‘Audrey Potter and the Bantams of the Opera'.
You’ll notice new details each time you read through this book, with the story in the illustrations just as much as it is in the text. The Wombats Go On Camp is the first book in a new Roland Harvey series and I can’t wait to see what they get up to next.
Title: The Wombats go on Camp
Author/Illustrator: Roland Harvey
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, $24.99 RRP
Publication Date: 23 October 2013
For ages: 5-10
Type: Picture Book