Author/illustrator Katie Stewart was born in the UK and moved to Australia when she was 9. Having lived on a farm for a great deal of her life, Stewart’s picture books are all about Aussie animals, with her previous books being, What Colour is the Sea?, featuring a koala and Where do the Stars Go? based around a possum. Her latest picture book Wombat Can’t Sing is (of course) based around a lovely little wombat.
Wombat likes to sleep and relax but when he is awoken by a Fantail bird’s song, he begins a quest to learn how to sing so that he can make others happy. While his bush friends try to offer him helpful advice about how they can sing and make other creatures happy, wombat is left with just one thought… ‘I can’t do that’. So what can a wombat who can’t sing do?
With easy wording and a sometimes-bold font that jumps all over the page, this is a great read along book for beginners. The wonderfully textured feel of the illustrations captivate the reader and help to hold their attention. Kids will love reading along and trying to imitate each animal’s sounds, the trouble may lie in getting them to stop making the sounds…
But for a very young audience the simple story about focusing not on what you can’t do but on what you CAN do, will also make this a good bedtime read with its sweet ending.