Learn all about the “bulldozer of the bush” in a fascinating introduction to the wombat -- an exciting addition to the award-winning Nature Storybook Series.

Far underground, where dirt and tree roots mesh, are tunnels that lead to a burrow, and in this burrow Wombat’s day begins.

Wombats may look soft and cuddly, but they are determined and tough, with sharp teeth that never stop growing, limbs that they use to shovel dirt like bulldozers, and bony bottoms they use to defend their burrows. They can live for years without drinking water, getting all of their moisture from the plants they eat — and they deposit their cube-shaped poop on rocks or stumps as a warning to other wombats. Follow one of these powerful marsupials through a suspenseful day in Christopher Cheng’s engaging narration, paired with endearing illustrations by Liz Duthie and interspersed with intriguing facts. An endnote provides additional information about wombats for readers curious to learn more.


Within the old (and new) walls of an inner-city Sydney terrace dwells Christopher Cheng. He is the author of many children’s books including his previous Nature storybook title Python (illus. Mark Jackson) which was shortlisted for the 2013 Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year awards. Passionate about animals, particularly those native to Australia, it's fitting that he established the Zoomobile and taught at Taronga Zoo in Sydney for many years, celebrating his background in education. He has always loved to write (he mostly always carries his notebook and pens) but he never thought he would be a full-time children’s author.

Liz Duthie is an illustrator and visual artist based in Central Victoria. She trained in Fine Art and Special Education at La Trobe University and revels in using traditional mediums such as water colour, gouache, ink and acrylic paint ­– often all mixed together!


Without a doubt one of my fav series in a long while – the Nature Storybook series by @walkerbooksaus. Simply beautiful, and perfect for schools.

Children's Books Daily

Wombat is a new addition to the Nature Storybooks series, which feature a lyrical narrative and engaging nonfiction combined with stunning artwork to pique the curiosity of young minds.


Like the others in the series, the storyline is inviting and generous . . . All of the facts given will intrigue younger readers and these are enhanced by the stunning illustrations by Duthie.


Delicately detailed artwork in browns and greens expertly generates a storybook feeling of the natural world. Sharing pigment with the roots and soil, the wombat’s introduction is literally grounding. A day-in-the-life flow introduces usual activities like sleeping and territory defense with unrhymed yet poetic prose. The effect is endearing, sweet, and approachable. A clear serif type relates the narrative of the wombat’s movements. Accompanying facts about their teeth, burrows, poop, and more are presented in a spindly, italicized sans-serif type with a hand-lettered look that suggests field notes. Cheng’s careful yet playful word choices and Duthie’s expert penciled lines and brush strokes will draw in art appreciators, educators, caregivers, and the children they serve. Fabulous action words like snarls, dives, and pants lend themselves to both vocabulary building and entertaining read-alouds. One point of confusion is the backing of many illustrations with white, which may have readers imagining daytime despite mention of the wombat’s nocturnal habits. Otherwise, this volume offers a solid combination of story and information. Wombats’ deployment of their “bony bottoms” to fend off their few predators and their secret pouches for their young will tickle and warm anyone to the wombat’s ways


A must-have for any collection that meets the needs of any children with a liking for or an interest in these unique creatures.

The Bottom Shelf


Whitley Award, Children's Zoology
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