Wombat Said Come In

Peachtree. Oct. 2022. 36p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781682633212.
PreS-Gr 3–Wombat is not worried that a fire is in the air. He is about to settle into his comfy chair with his slippers and a cup of tea when one by one his animal friends—a platypus, koala, kookaburra, wallaby, and sugar glider—frantically enter and unsettle his peaceful abode. He bids them welcome with the repeated phrase, “Come in! Come in! From smoke and din and howling wind, come in, my friend, come in!” The friends are all welcome, but when at last the air clears, Wombat is less than gentle in his urgency to send his house guests on their way. The illustrations capture the characters in their various states of distress, and Deedy’s language welcomes all readers and listeners into a story that celebrates friendship and tolerance. Children will enjoy the wombat quiz that precedes the story, and they will root for each adorable creature as they find a way into Wombat’s home, some more peacefully than others. Much different in tone from the less-anthropomorphized Australian wildfire story, Wombat Underground, this title focuses on the universal need for comfort and tolerance in the face of adverse situations.
VERDICT Welcoming those in distress, be they friends or strangers, is a message that benefits all students. This title does just that with charming and humorous detail in both words and pictures.

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