Friday, July 12, 2013

Warambi by Aleesah Darlison and Andrew Plant

Warambi is the story of a little bent-wing bat. The story follows Warambi growing up and learning to fly and hunt. When the bat colony's cabe is demolished by excavators, Warambi finds herself separated from the other bats and the story follows her adventure to find a new home.

We stumbled across this book at The Library Shop, the State Library of Queensland's bookshop - a wonderful place to find excellent children's books, particularly Brisbane, Queensland or Australian books (actually it is a wonderful place to find all kinds of fabulous books!!)

As soon as we saw Warambi, we had to buy a copy - the illustrations are excellent and the realistic artwork really brings little Warambi to life. (It is amazing to learn that the bent-wing bat is only 45mm long - hard to believe from looking at the incredibly detailed drawings of the bats in this book).

The other really lovely thing about this hardcover book is the endpapers, which contain additional information about bent-wing bats, including where they live, what they eat, etc. We don't read this information to Maximilian yet, but these are a great way to  learn more about the facts behind the story - something which will really appeal to the wonderful curiosity of older children.

This isn't a short story so it is not one for young babies or toddlers. Although the text on each page is quite short, there are a lot of pages so younger children just wouldn't have the attention span to enjoy the story. The illustrations are remarkably realistic and mostly dark coloured, so also wouldn't really appeal to young children in the way that bright primary colours do. At eighteen months age, Maximilian will now sit still and listen to the entire story and he enjoys it but he doesn't really understand what's going on in the story, and it will probably be more suitable from around age 3 and up.

Warambi would be a terrific addition to a storytime program based on Australian animals and could also be used for environmental awareness or a conservation theme. It would also be a great book for primary school teachers or librarians to use an education aid. I really think this is a wonderful and unique book and I'm glad we found it - it will be enjoyed in our home library for many years to come.

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