As part of my Christmas celebration, I always visit a book called Wombat Divine by Mem Fox. Mem Fox is a children’s book author. In this picture book, she uses Australian animals as the characters in her story about the production of a Nativity play. Wombat Divine is a story of friendship and compassion as much as it is a story about a production of the Nativity.
Wombat is finally old enough to participate in the Nativity; however, his delight soon turns to sorrow as each and every part in the Nativity production becomes someone else’s. Wombat wants to be the Archangel Gabriel, but alas, he is too heavy, so Bilby becomes the Archangel Gabriel. Wombat is too big to be Mary, so Numbat plays Mary’s part. As parts are assigned for the Three Kings, Joseph, the innkeeper, and the shepherds, Wombat is either too short, too sleepy, too clumsy, or too short sighted. The roles go to more of his friends.
Each time Wombat tries for a role and fails to get a part, his friends say “Don’t Lose Heart. Why don’t you try for a different part?” Finally all the parts are gone, and poor Wombat is so very sad. Of course, there is one part everyone has forgotten, the most important part, the part of Baby Jesus. Wombat is just perfect to play the part of Baby Jesus. On the night of the Nativity play, Wombat lies so very still in the manager, he may have even fallen asleep. The next day, everyone is talking about how the Nativity play is the best ever, and that Wombat was “divine” in his role. The book ends with the sentence, “And Wombat beamed.”
When Wombat beams, it always makes me happy. Wombat’s friends continue to encourage Wombat as he finds his place in the Nativity. I hope the story makes you happy as well.
While I have my own copy of this wonderful uplifting story, it is possible to find several YouTube videos of folks, including Mem Fox, reading the story aloud. I encourage you to add this little story to your Christmas collection if you have one, and if you do not, I encourage you to start a children’s book collection for yourself, your children, your grandchildren, or any other children you are lucky to spend the holidays.
As for me, I am off to enjoy my Christmas book collection from my daughter’s childhood. I wish you all the Happiest of Christmas and Peace in the New Year.