Room for More

Room for More
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Publisher
Age Range
4+
Release Date
July 05, 2022
ISBN
978-1772782523
Buy This Book
      
Two wombats, two wallabies, a koala, and a tiger snake humorously squeeze into one burrow—and reveal important truths about environmental disasters and the importance of welcoming refugees.

 

When a fire sweeps through the Australian bush, wombats Dig and Scratch are glad to have a cool, damp burrow to keep them safe. But Dig notices that other animals are not so lucky. When Dig invites a wallaby mother and her joey to shelter with them, Scratch grumbles. When Dig beckons to a koala, Scratch complains. And when Dig welcomes in a tiger snake, Scratch is fit to be tied—but Dig is sure there’s always room for more. And when the rains come to douse the fire and bring a new threat of flooding, a crowd of creatures may turn out to be just what the wombats need.

 

Inspired by stories of animals sheltering in wombat burrows when her homeland of Australia experienced devastating fires, award-winning author Michelle Kadarusman gets young readers up close and personal with Australian wildlife. Illustrator Maggie Zeng brings the creatures to life with a generous dose of personality as they squeeze together in the burrow and work together aboveground. Extensive back matter includes information about wildfires, a glossary of animals, and age-appropriate context about environmental disasters and the work that is being done—including a renewal of Indigenous land practices—to prevent them. 

Editor review

1 review
picture book with important themes
Overall rating
 
4.5
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
N/A
Writing Style
 
N/A
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
ROOM FOR MORE is an engaging picture book about sharing, helping others, and Australia. Wombats Dig and Scratch have built a burrow, which they are very happy to have when bush fires sweep through. When they see other animals in trouble, Dig invites them into the shelter, but Scratch complains about it. When the rain starts, the fires end and the animals leave, but now, their burrow is filling with water and is not a place for them anymore. However, the other animals help to build a barrier to keep Dig and Scratch safe from the rain.

What I loved: This is a sweet story about helping others and sharing what you have. The detailed and sweeping illustrations really bring the story to life. Backmatter talking about Australia and the animals shown in the story add to the educational context. The messaging around welcoming refugees is subtle but also important, as Dig and Scratch make sure other animals are saved from the natural disasters around them only to face later troubles themselves and have others help them as well.

Final verdict: With adorable characters, important themes, and lovely illustrations, this is a cute picture book that children will enjoy. Due to text length and context, recommend for elementary school aged readers.
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