Hitchhiking with Santa: Christmas Wombat by Jackie French
I'M A WOMBAT.
ENJOY SLEEPING, SCRATCHING, AND EATING.
ESPECIALLY EATING CARROTS.
Wombat lives a simple life. sleeping in a hole in the ground, and eating grass when he can't get carrots--the only thing in life that gets him the least bit excited.
But then, pushing past some annoying "dangly" things inexplicably hanging from a tree, he catches a whiff of something irresistible and follows the scent to an amazing sight--a small plate of cookies and glass of milk and a large basket of CARROTS! With a sign.
AND THE REINDEER
To Wombat, all carrots are HIS carrots, and after a serious staring contest, he convinces the reindeer that they are HIS. YUM!
Eating taken care of, Wombat goes on to his next favorite priority--SLEEP.
He finds a comfortable little spot on a big red thing with curvy runners parked near his hole and curls up for a nap, but while he snoozes deeply, as only a wombat can, the sleigh (yes, it's Santa's, stopping off down under), moves on to colder climes. When Wombat awakes to a novel snowy scene, he catches a familiar scent.
I SMELL CARROTS!
A strange rounded white figure in a knit cap and scarf is right in front of Wombat's nose, but it's the nose on the figure he's interested in. Crimey! It's a carrot! YUM!
There seem to be plenty of carrots in this cold place, and if he can just make those reindeer back off, they are all for Wombat! In fact, everywhere this strange sleigh goes, there are more carrots, even down that strange brick wombat hole, hung with socks at the bottom. YUM! Before long, Wombat and those reindeer work out a truce, as there seem to be plenty of carrots for everybody.
But all this travel and fine dining is tiring. Time for a scratch and a snooze in his special cubby in that red sleigh. Let the reindeer do the work. ZZZZZZZ.
And when Wombat wakes from his long winter's nap, he's luckily back home down under, right where he began. The weather is warm again, and the grass is green and lush. But Wombat finds that it has lost its appeal.
GRASS DELICIOUS. BUT FOR SOME REASON NOT HUNGRY.
Jackie French's latest, Christmas Wombat (Houghton Mifflin Clarion, 2012) has her lovable little Wombat finding his own version of a Christmas dinner as Santa's stowaway. As illustrated by ace artist Bruce Whatley, French's characters are as plushy and cuddly-looking as always, and fans of her matter-of-fact little marsupial, a critter of few words and fewer passsions, will love this wry and charming holiday outing. Santa, his chosen conveyance, and his team of reindeer are mostly shown only in part, and, as are the full, always-in-profile illustrations of her main character, who as always finds adventure while simply following what's right in front of his cute little nose.
Other books in French's popular series include Diary of a Wombat, Diary of a BABY Wombat, and How to Scratch a Wombat: Where to Find It . . . What to Feed It . . . Why It Sleeps All Day.