reading can be an acquired taste—even for a Bilby!

by Margaret Wild, illustrated by Ben Wood - Omnibus Books, 2014
ages baby to 8 years / Australia, funny, heartwarmers

Chock full of delight, this is the story of Bilby, who really isn’t interested in books. 

All of Bilby's friends are part of a book club and they love to read, but Bilby is a fidgeter and he just isn’t interested in reading. 

But then, through a conspiracy of circumstances, Bilby ends up reading just one book—The Terrifying Adventures of Big Brave Bilby—and he is hooked. 

He can hardly wait to read More Terrifying Adventures of Big Brave Bilby! 

And isn’t that just how the reading bug so often bites? One book in a series, then another and another, until reading almost anything becomes a passion.

The members of the Bush Book Club are completely adorable but also totally relatable. There’s a kangaroo who reads as she hops along, a koala who has a thing for fantasy and a crocodile who reads books that make him teary.

The Book Club itself is an enchanting place to read—comfy and colourful, peaceful and still playful. I do love the illustrations, they’re soft and bright at the same time. Perfect colours. The Australian animals are cute and vibrant and full of personality.

There’s a lot of good in this little story, like:

Reassurances that somewhere there will be just the right book for everyone—Bilby finally found a book about a big, brave Bilby, just what he needed when he wasn’t feeling so big and brave himself.

Reminders that friends don’t have to share all the same interests all the time —all the members of the Bush Book Club like different types of books and they all like Bilby even when he hasn’t yet found his reading match.

Reinforcement for the benefits of trying something new and resourcefulness—Bilby finally comes around on something he’s been resisting.

It's a lovely book to give to someone who relishes reading, but also to a reluctant reader who may need a bit of a nudge. And the Australian animals are so full of life and so very cute that it’s also nice for an Australian child or a child with Australian connections.

The Bush Book Club was our Easter present to two of our grandchildren this year —somehow having Bilby as the main character gave it an Easter feel to me.

You can buy The Bush Book Club via Booktopia