#aww2019 · 2019 Reviews · Australian · children · new release · Picture book

Children’s Book Review: Happy Birthday Wombat by Jackie French and Illustrated by Bruce Whatley

Title: Happy Birthday Wombathappy birthday wombat small

Author: Jackie French

Illustrator: Bruce Whatley

Published: April 15th 2019

Publisher: Harper Collins

Pages: 32

Genres:  Children (3+)

RRP: $24.99

Rating: 4 stars


She eats, she sleeps, she scratches. But today it’s Mothball’s birthday and it’s time to celebrate!

Created by author Jackie French and illustrator Bruce Whatley, Happy Birthday Wombat is a very funny picture book about enjoying a special day – as seen through the eyes of the world’s most famous wombat.


Following on from the success of the original and the first book penned by Jackie French and illustrated by Bruce Whatley, Diary of a Wombat, comes Happy Birthday Wombat. A beautiful ode to one of Australia’s most loved creatures, immortalised in the form of a cute picture book, this new story chronicles a special event through the eyes of a wombat! I guarantee a few belly laughs and many smiles when you read this truly delightful children’s book.

Happy Birthday Wombat is a picture book aimed at children aged three years and up. It details a day in the life of a cuddly wombat, Mothball, as she celebrates a very special occasion – her birthday. For young children, nothing tops their birthday. So the decision to feature a wombat’s birthday will be sure to completely appeal to young children, the target audience of this picture book. There are comical moments, surprising events and many relatable experiences. All in all, it is hard not to resist the charms of the dear wombat at the centre of this new story, she is utterly adorable!

Featuring many of the characteristics of the popular first book, Diary of a Wombat, the reader sees just how important the routine of eating, sleeping, scratching, digging and a little mischief is to a wombat. Personalising the wombat’s birthday experience are balloons to pop, jumping castles to destroy and carrot cakes to eat. These fun filled and authentic experiences are captured perfectly with the ideal partnership of Jackie French’s bold prose and Bruce Whately’s magical illustrations. The reader really does feel like they inhabit the world of a wombat, just for one special day. In writing this story and the other books in the series, Jackie French has gone a long way in raising our awareness, appreciation and hopefully the protection of one of Australia’s treasures in the native fauna world, the wombat.

I couldn’t resist this title, and I would have no qualms in reading Happy Birthday Wombat over and over again.  A book to share in a family setting, or a wider educational grouping, Happy Birthday Wombat is a simply charming book that captures the very essence of a birthday, from the appealing viewpoint of a darling wombat.

Happy Birthday Wombat by Jackie French and illustrated by Bruce Whatley was published on 15th April 2019 by Harper Collins Books Australia. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of Happy Birthday Wombat, Jackie French, visit here.

I wish to thank Harper Collins Books Australia for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.

Happy Birthday Wombat is book #66 of the 2019 Australian Women Writers Challenge 


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