"What a delightful picture book. Competition, collaboration, wombats! The illustrations are bold and hilarious, the text is full of humor and heart. Like the wombats, they work together to make something wonderful."
– COREY R. TABOR, author/illustrator of the 2022 Caldecott Honor Book Mel Fell
"This rollicking fable will resonate with aficionados, dilettantes, and prodigies everywhere... Tep’s encouraging message about doing what you love despite not being the greatest of all time will spur children to explore life’s joys just for the pleasure it brings. (Regardless of cheeky parachuting wombats.)"
"Wally the World’s Greatest Piano-Playing Wombat is a charming story about competitiveness and creativity, told with sly humor and wit. It definitely resonated with us as artists, and its message will resonate with any budding artist, musician, or competitive creative. Both the illustrations and text are a delight."
– THE FAN BROTHERS, authors/illustrators of the 2021 New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children's Book It Fell From the Sky
"What a book. What a wombat! Wally is a wonder. Forget the piano, his true greatness is that he is every creative kid and adult everywhere. Through Tep’s humorous text and Pintonato’s hilarious illustrations, Wally reminds us all that we don’t have to be the greatest in the world at our creative pursuits to find the greatest joy in pursuing them."
About the Book
Wally was the world’s greatest piano-playing wombat—until he realized there was an even more talented piano-playing wombat in town! This funny picture book’s bright colors and imaginative musical scenes teach children to have self-confidence when faced with competition.
When Wally, the world’s greatest piano-playing wombat, hears Wylie play, he becomes envious. Wally tries toe-tapping and ball-twirling as he plays piano, but every time Wally thinks he’s one-upping the competition, he discovers Wylie can do all the same tricks.
Although Wally is discouraged at first, he soon realizes that competing with Wylie inspires them both to play better. And finding a friend to share what you love? That’s the best win of all. Both affirming and motivating, Wally’s story will resonate with young readers as they learn how to deal with competition and to do what makes them happy—even when they’re not the very best.
About the Author
Ratha Tep is a frequent contributor to The New York Times and has reported from Paris, Milan, London, Zurich, and Dublin. She is now looking to create new worlds of her own, in which animal characters navigate their foibles and frailties with humor and spirit; Wally the World’s Greatest Piano-Playing Wombat is her debut picture book. She lives in Dublin, Ireland.
About the Illustrator
Camilla Pintonato is the author-illustrator of Full Moon and the illustrator for the Farm Animal series, Chickenology and Pigology. She lives in Venice, Italy.