Simple and straightforward, this touching tale offers plenty of opportunities for children and adults to experience genuine empathy. Cindy’s father speculates that Mr. Wombat got lost during the storm because of his advanced age. “He is very old, Cindy,” he tells his daughter. “I am happy that he is safe and that you gave him carrots to eat.” Each night, Cindy tells Mr. Wombat she loves him: “Carrots and kisses, good night, Mr. Wombat, I love you.” This cute, silly refrain is rooted in genuine concern for the wombat’s well-being, which will inspire kids to look at the world around them with care and compassion.
Rippy’s illustrations are colorful and comforting, showing Cindy and her parents interacting peacefully with the calm, cat-like wombat. The family smiles while feeding and petting Mr. Wombat amid bucolic farm scenes, which feel nostalgic and welcoming enough to make readers want to join the marsupial on his cozy pallet. A self-proclaimed outdoorsman and animal lover, Rippy shares a gentle appreciation for the natural world. That impulse is contagious, as is the desire to make some amazing new animal friends.
Takeaway: In this sweet, playful picture book a little girl named befriends a wayward wombat.
Great for fans of: John Butler’s Can You Cuddle Like a Koala?, Jackie French’s Diary of a Wombat.
Design and typography: A-
Marketing copy: A-