Review Blog

Jan 10 2013

The snow Womble by Elizabeth Beresford

cover image

Ill. by Nick Price. Bloomsbury, 2012. ISBN 9781408834244
(Age: 3-7) Picture book, Environment, Christmas. Elizabeth Beresford died in 2010, and her famously inventive and ground breaking stories about the Wombles are now being reprinted. The Wombles, conceived initially to clean up Wimbledon Common, first appeared in 1968 when environmental themes in children's literature were sparse. A television series followed and the Wombles became very well known in the United Kingdom with a song that most people can sing or at least hum. With their theme, 'make good use of bad rubbish' they proved to be a herald of good behavour.
In this book, The snow Womble, first published in 1975, only a hint is given of the original intent of the series of books. When the Wombles emerge from their burrows on a very wintry morning, the whole of the common is under snow and so very white and very clean. The young Wombles decide that they do not need to tidy up today so take some time off. Three decide to build a snow Womble, but while Bungo builds the model, Orinoco sleeps and Tamsk snowboards. The finished product is made to look like Great Uncle Bulgaria so that when Tamsk snowboards down the hills he calls out to uncle to move, which of course, he does not. The inevitable happens, and several valuable lessons learnt, especially when Great Uncle Bulgaria emerges from his burrow to hear the little Wombles talking about him.
At the end of this fun filled book is a sheet of stickers for kids to use, showing each of the Wombles.
Fran Knight

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