Hairy Nose Itchy Butt by Elizabeth Frankel & Garry Duncan
Reviewed by Tom aged 9
The Story is about a Hairy Nose Wombat who woke up with an itchy butt. So he went looking for his favourite scratch tree but it had disappeared. The tree had been cut down for wood. Then he went looking for his favourite salt bush to scratch on but it had also disappeared. It had been cleared for farming. Everything he goes looking for had disappeared because people had cleared the land to build stuff. He then goes home and finds his home had disappeared. He starts to cry. Another hairy nosed wombat came and invited him to stay with her. They had to cross a very dangerous busy road but then get to a Conservation Park. He finally gets to scratch his butt on a tree and lives with the kind wombat.
I liked the story and I liked how it rhymes. The story teaches us that people hurt the animals' habitat.
I rate the book 7/10
Firstly this book is Australian so it already gets bonus points from me for that. Secondly it has won awards including an award from the Speech Pathology Australia giving it 'Book of the Year'. I can certainly see why Speech Pathologists would love it as there is a frequently occurring passage that takes a bit of concentration to pronounce correctly:
Itchity, scratchity, grumble and groan.
A shudder and shake, a snort and a moan.
A grunt and a huff, and a spitterly splut.
"I really need to scratch my butt"
The book is an interesting way to explain the impact of human settlement on native flora and fauna. The plight of the poor wombat is quite sad but the need to scratch his butt lightens the story enough so that children will not be traumatized at bedtime. It is a good way to launch a discussion of conservation.
At the end of the book the authors have a written a message calling for people to work together to find solutions to help one of our native species. Part proceeds of the book go towards wombat conservation.