Lachlan Creagh (Hachette/Lothian) 2014, RRP $14.99

It’s summertime and Wombat and his friends have gone to the beach for a holiday. Croc’s water-wise cousin, Salty, is teaching surfing to everyone – Emu, Koala, Goanna and Croc – and each of them is a natural. But Wombat is shy and too scared to try, even though he can see how much fun his friends are having. It’s the ocean and the crashing waves – they’re so big and he’s so small. Can Wombat’s friends help him overcome his fears and help him to get his feet wet?

Wombat Went A' Surfing - Hachette - Lachlan Creagh - The ClotheslineWombat Went A’ Surfing is the fifth book in the Wombat series from Brisbane-based author and illustrator Lachlan Creagh: Wombat Went A’ Walking, Wombat Went A’ Racing, Wombat’s Birthday Surprise and Wombat Jumped Over The Moon. I love the great illustrations of these cute Aussie bush animal friends and the poetic prose rolls smoothly and is simple to read, with highlighted words to help accentuate the dominant words of each sentence. But the story is so simple and interesting to read that all eyes and ears will love it regardless.

Of course, all’s well that ends well and Salty helps Wombat to find his courage and have a go. Soon he’s joining in on all the fun with the rest of his friends. It’s a reminder that many of us, no matter how young or old, need a little gentle coaxing when trying new things sometimes. This book is so Aussie that it would be perfect to send to friends and kids overseas for birthdays, Christmas or just a gift for the sake of giving. And Wombat is so cute, how could you resist?

Catherine Blanch

Wombat Went A’ Surfing is available from Hachette Children’s Books.

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