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Thump, thump, thumpety - wump!    by Pat Edwards order for
Thump, thump, thumpety - wump!
by Pat Edwards
Order:  USA  Can
Pigtales, 1987 (1987)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This is one of a series of 'read-it-together' books 'designed for adult / child participation' and the concept certainly worked in my household. Thump, thump, thumpety - wump! is the single picture book that gave us the most enjoyment together when my kids were small. We took turns reading (sometimes shouting) the parts, and even performed an exuberant puppet show version for relatives. Unfortunately it seems to be out of print, though other picture books by Pat Edwards are still available .

Thump, thump, thumpety - wump! is essentially the Aussie version of Three Billy Goats Gruff. Its appeal is in the exaggeration of the original, text illustrations that emphasize what to highlight (e.g. the word 'roared' surrounded by flames) and that unique (and exotic to foreigners) Aussie touch. Instead of goats, we have (female) kangaroos, Big Booroo, Middle-sized Booroo and Little Booroo, and they're after 'fresh, green grass that grew on the bank of the billabong.'

The 'thump, thump, thumpety - wump' is the sound the Booroo's make while jumping from stone to stone across the billabong, in which lives (of course) 'the ugly old Bunyip'. Naturally he threatens to gobble them up, and matters proceed as expected. The climax, much anticipated by children, occurs when Big Booroo kicks the nasty Bunyip 'into the middle of next week' (kids also enjoy acting out this part with stuffed animals).

I wish someone would release this wonderful picture book again - it's much too entertaining to disappear entirely.

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