Review Blog

Dec 11 2012

One very tired wombat by Renee Treml

cover image

Random House, 2012. hbk., RRP $A$19.95. ISBN 9781742755786. Ebook 9781742749013.
'1 very tired wombat, settles down to sleep.The morning is calm and silent; wombat doesn't hear a peep.'Until. . . 2 curious curlews, 3 furtive frogmouths, and a host of other birds come by and disturb the peace. Until there is one feather too many . . .
Written and illustrated by an artist with an amazing eye for detail and the ability to be accurate yet quirky at the same time, the unique illustrations are what set this book apart from others about creatures trying to sleep; from others about wombats; and from others that have a counting pattern embedded in them. The illustrations are 'created using a scratchboards covered in white clay. The shape of each animal is then blocked out in black ink and, when this is dry, Renee uses a craft knife to scratch in features such as faces, fur and feathers'. It's very much the grown-up version of scratching illustrations into a coloured card covered in thick, black wax crayon.
The result is a unique picture book that works on every level, including offering tidbits of information about all the native birds featured in the story. Something different for your new year's book display.
Barbara Braxton

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