Wanda Wallaby finds her bounce by Jonathan Emmett
Ill. by Mark Chambers. Bloomsbury Paperbacks. ISBN 9781408818398.
Recommended. A fundraiser for the London Zoological Society, this is a bright and colourful story about a wallaby called Wanda who has lost her bounce. She wanders through the book, asking lots of other animals for help, until she meets the crocodile, who proves an unlikely ally in her quest.
The book uses clever devices, such as random capitalised words, to keep the reader engaged. The watercolour illustrations are captivating and engaging for small eyes, and Wanda really does appear to move through the story. Another interesting aspect is the use of all 5 senses through the story -Wanda asks the animals what her bounce might look, smell, sound, feel and taste like. This would be a good entry point to further explore and discover the 5 senses with young readers.
One small criticism would be the description of the echidna in the story as an anteater. The 'fun animal facts' at the end of the story states that 'all of the animals in this story live in Australial. My Australian reader was very perplexed by my reading of 'anteater' when it was, quite clearly, an echidna in the picture. It seems such an odd choice in an English publication, designed to introduce children who otherwise wouldn't be familiar, to Australian animals.
That said, this book really is a lovely one, with a humorous twist at the end, which small readers will enjoy. Recommended.