Welcome Wombat: Tales of Marsupial Rescue for Middle-Grade Readers

Lynn: “Oh, hi, tiny thing. Welcome to Sleepy Burrows Wombat Sanctuary.” And so Welcome, Wombat (2018) begins: Chance, a two-year-old wombat, greets a tiny “pinkie” whose mother was just tragically killed by a car. Author Kama Einhorn proceeds to introduce readers to the sanctuary; its inspiring wildlife rehabilitators, Donna and Phil; and to the amazing wombat species as a whole.

Welcome, Wombat by Kama EinhornIn this fourth addition to the True Tales of Rescue series, charming Chance provides fascinating factual information about wombats and their development in a humorous, chatty style. Snuggly, cute, and totally dependent as babies, wombats eventually grow up to be determined and solitary, foraging for food, digging tunnels which they mark with their square-shaped droppings. Chance explains the important mission of the sanctuary, as well as the seven levels of “wombat school,” where the orphaned wombats learn the skills necessary to survive in the bush on their own.

Chance also recounts his own rescue story and that of the new resident, now named Panzer. Along the way, Einhorn gives readers a clear understanding of Donna and Phil’s dedication and the incredible effort it takes to successfully run the sanctuary. Heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time, the stories of these wombat-school graduates provide eye-opening information about wombats, the struggles they are facing, and the wonderful people working to save them.

Enhanced with adorable color photographs, funny comments, and plentiful sidebars, this story will be a winner for kids interested in animals or science. Excellent back matter includes information on how to help the wombat protection effort as well as a glossary, bibliography, guide on “How to Speak Aussie,” and more. So don’t “chuck a tanty, mate,” add this to your collection right away!

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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