George the Brave

George the Brave
Eva Papoušková and Galina Miklínová

It’s off to Australia for this tale of a little wombat called George. I learned something about wombats like George before reading the story book for there’s an information page at the start. Did you know that in addition to being protected by law on account of their rareness, wombats are able to protect themselves by thrusting their rear ends at an enemy.

Let’s meet our protagonist George, and his friends. Fred the Kangaroo, Annie the Goose and Lizzie the Mouse invite George to join them in some games one day. Having got permission from his parents and a warning to be on the lookout for possible dangers in the form of hungry predators, he demonstrates his life-saving moves and off he goes to the dark woods to meet his pals. Their first game is hide and seek and when it’s George’s turn to be the seeker, he hides his eyes and starts singing a little song. However upon uncovering them he finds himself face to face with Wilma the Fox. Eek!

Now Wilma is a sly creature with her mind on her next tasty meal. To that end she invites George to show her his home and when he wants to know why, she’s gets angry. After all an entire wombat family is much more satisfying that one little one.

George is suspicious and sensing danger, flees as fast as he can. The trouble is, Wilma too has fast paws and is hot on his trail. Now is the time for George to be truly brave and use that strong, bony bottom of his.

Is it enough to do the necessary? Let’s say that Wilma loses more than just a tasty meal on account of his bum-thrusting stance. 

And George? He’s learned an important life lesson about facing one’s fears – kind of!

Young children will relish George’s new story with its embedded wombat fact. With that big surprise, superb cross-hatched illustrations and dryly humorous text, it’s both lots of fun and informative. It also offers a good starting point for a circle time discussion about standing up for yourself.

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