In this holiday-themed entry in their successful series, French and Whatley introduce their lovable wombat character to Santa and his reindeer.
A bearlike Australian animal, the wombat likes to sleep, hide in holes and eat. This wombat especially likes to eat carrots, and the witty, understated plot focuses on the wombat’s intensive search for more and more carrots. The brief, first-person narration, using just a few words per page, describes the wombat’s activities and its discovery of carrots set out for some “strange creatures” (Santa’s reindeer). The wombat chomps every carrot in sight, stows away in Santa’s sleigh and beats the reindeer to their carrot treats at stops around the world. The little wombat is oblivious to the significance of Santa and the reindeer, though readers will understand all the Christmas connections, with many of the funny plot twists revealed through the illustrations. The brief, ironic text and the humorous expressions of the wombat and reindeer are delightfully comical, providing a satisfying story that will appeal to the whole family, from toddlers through adults.
The wombat hopes those strange carrot-attracting creatures will be back soon, and young readers will hope the lovable wombat returns for more cleverly constructed carrot quests. (Picture book. 2-7)