Wombat Divine facts for kids
21st anniversary edition cover of Wombat Divine
|Genre||Children's illustrated fiction|
Wombat Divine is a 1995 Christmas-themed children's fiction book written by Australian author Mem Fox and illustrated by Kerry Argent. The book, written for children aged three years and above, tells the story of a young wombat who fears he will not be given a part in this year's Nativity play, but is delighted in the end to be chosen for the part of the Christ Child. A 21st anniversary edition of the book was published in 2016.
Wombat has long dreamed of being in the annual Nativity play. When he is finally old enough to participate, he enters every audition, only to be rejected each time on the grounds that he is "too big for some parts, too small for others, too short, too clumsy ..." until he fears that his dream will go unfulfilled. Fortunately, "wise Emu" has an idea—a sleepy Wombat would be well suited to the part of baby Jesus. Wombat accepts the part and ends up stealing the show as he falls asleep during the performance, just as a real baby might.
Composition and publication
Wombat Divine was written by Australian children's author Mem Fox and illustrated by Kerry Argent. The book came about via a request from the author's then publisher, Omnibus Books, to write "a typically Australian Christmas story." Fox replied that she had never written a book to order and doubted she could manage it, but her publisher promised assistance. After two years of failed collaborative effort, Fox declared that she was unable to complete the project. In a last-ditch attempt, Fox's publisher suggested that she "make a 32-page book and write the story in it." This proved to be the conceptual breakthrough for Fox, and she was able to write the book.
Wombat Divine is 32 pages long and 28 centimetres (11 in) in height. Originally published in 1995 by Omnibus Books (ISBN: 9780152020965), a 15th anniversary edition was published in 2009 and a 21st anniversary edition on 1 October 2016 by Scholastic Australia (ISBN: 9781742991221).
Wombat Divine Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.