Combat Wombat to the Rescue
Ford Street, 2020
32pp., pbk., RRP $A16.95
Combat Wombat, Wildlife Warrior of the Bush is fast asleep when he is woken by the other creatures, wanting to play. But there is no time to play because Combat Wombat’s super-sensitive nose, ears and paws have picked up some unmistakable signals – there is a bushfire on its way. Quickly organising his friends to be in charge of certain elements of safety, Combat Wombat leads them to Billabong Island where they will be safe. Even though there are significant obstacles on the way he uses his special talents to overcome these until he gets to the river’s edge. All the others can get across the water, but wombats are not built for leaping, flying or swimming. Can he trust Bingo Dingo to get him there safely?
This is a story for younger readers that puts the plight of wildlife during a bushfire firmly in focus, particularly relevant given the events of last summer. By using their special talents and working together, the creatures keep themselves safe, a lesson that goes beyond this particular situation. Much of the story is told in the artwork which is unique and Tiffanee Daley has shared her technique in this video.
Teachers’ notes offer a variety of ideas about how to use this book in the classroom with little ones but I believe they will enjoy it just for its own sake. I did.