Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 01/01/2022 A plump wombat digs his den while other Australian animals linger above ground, enjoying the abundant vegetation and temperate weather. The season changes, the water dries up, and the dried grass rustles underfoot. A sudden storm grows, and lightning strikes, setting the dried-out land alight. The wombat snoozes safely underground while the others flee, and when the cozy critter finally blinks awake, he peers out of his burrow entrance to find a wallaby, skink, and echidna desperately hoping for entrance and safety. Though initially reluctant, the wombat relents, and the unlikely group huddles together in the snug den, safe from the fire raging above. Thomson’s spare text is lyrical and elegant, and Santoso's gorgeous illustrations enhance the story, capturing detailed textures while providing an emotional sense of the scenes, from the terror of the all-encompassing fire to the silence of a surprising safe haven. Back matter includes more information on wildfires and the Australian animals, along with suggested reading. A gentle and compassionate introduction to an extraordinary group of animals and an increasingly relevant topic. - Copyright 2022 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 02/01/2022 Gr 1–3—Visually arresting illustrations of the Australian wilderness capture the story of a wombat and four other animals as they face the predicament of a wildfire in their habitat. With the wombat's natural tendency to burrow saves a skink, echidna, and a wallaby and her baby. The beauty of the wilderness is captured from a variety of perspectives and the details of fire season and its impact are not only told through the narrative but also through informative back matter. This title could be useful in multiple areas of the curriculum including environmental units as well as units on animal habitats and cooperation. VERDICT Bringing the impact of wildfires to a young audience through this angle, this title does an admirable job of capturing realistic details along with a "hero saves the day" story. Recommended.—John Scott - Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.