Jackie French has been living among wombats in the near-wilds of Australia for over 30 years. She’s made friends with her neighborhood wombats and has cared for orphaned and injured wombats. Wombats are curious creatures, marsupials, which like to dig. They experience the world primarily through their large nostrils and have a highly evolved sense of smell. They spend their days underground in comfortable burrows and their evenings above ground munching on lush green grass (when they can get it), and other vegetation (when they can’t). They’re rather stubborn and set in their ways – untrainable, as Jackie puts it, but not unintelligent. You can learn all sorts of wonderful wombat facts in How to Scratch a Wombat (and take her quiz to see if *you* are a wombat!). Her writing is very friendly, easy to follow, and full of stories about the wombats she has personally known. The illustrations are (as in her other book Diary of a Wombat) delightful – depicting the stocky, smiling, dozy-looking bear-like creatures in all of their activities (drawn by Bruce Whatley). I would love to meet some of these creatures in person some day.
Non-fiction Grade level recommendation: 4-6 Reviewed by Karin Thogersen, YA Librarian