'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 16 December 2019

Review: Wombat Stew

Wow! A 35th Anniversary Edition of Wombat Stew. Childhood memories come flooding back, laughter, delight and my sibling's  favourite cookbook, Wombat Stew Cookbook, which is sadly not currently in print.

Wombat Stew is one of Australia's favourite picture books from the 1980s. It mirrors a typical fairytale story, with the villain and the victim introduced in the first sentence, setting the tale's scene.

'One day, on the banks of a billabong, a very clever dingo caught a wombat... '

Now, in my opinion, he must be a very clever dingo indeed to capture a wombat because they are very strong and fast animals.

However, I think dingo's decision to tell the other bush animals, who are also wombat's friends, about his plans to make a stew out of  wombat, is less inspired. As we all know, most villain's plans are often thwarted by the allies of the victim.

The animals suggest ingredients of mud, feathers, flies, slugs, bugs and gumnuts to be added to the billycan. Will too many cooks spoil dingo's broth?

Marcia K Vaughan's rhyme and Pameal Lofts' illustrations will delight readers, eliciting roars of laughter, as the maniacal dingo dances around the fire singing,

'Wombat stew, 
Wombat stew, 
Gooey, brewy, 
Yummy, chewy, 
Wombat strew!'

Wombat Stew is currently featured in the Story Time: Australian Children's Literature Exhibition at the National Library of Australia in Canberra until 9 February 2020 and in Stephanie Owen Reeder's book that accompanies the exhibition, Story Time Stars

Read 10 Reasons to Visit Story Time and take a peek at the opening night and the exhibition in this article Story Time: Australian Children's Literature Exhibition by KBR Founder, Tania McCartney.

Title:Wombat Stew
Author: Marcia K Vaughan
Illustrator: Pamela Lofts
Publisher: Scholastic Australia, $17.99
Publication Date: 1 August 2019
Format: Hard Cover
ISBN: 9781743830147
For ages: 4 – 7
Type: Picture Book