Room for More

Pajama Press
Michelle Kadarusman, illustrated by Maggie Zeng
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Age range 5+

Age range 5 to 8

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 afire 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 y stories of animals sheltering in wombat burrows when her homeland ofAustralia 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 above ground. 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. 

'A sweet and simple cautionary tale, with a tip of the cap to the spirit of altruism.' — Kirkus Reviews

'The messaging around welcoming refugees is subtle but also important… With adorable characters, important themes, and lovely illustrations, this is a cute picture book that children will enjoy.' — YA Books Central

'Room for More can supplement a unit about inclusiveness and friendship and is a good read-aloud. Recommended' — CM Magazine

“Room for More is a nice picture book about kindness and helping others and it introduces young (and old) readers to some of the fascinating animals who live in Australia.' —

'In her dedication, Kadarusman thanks those 'who open their hearts, homes, and borders to those in need,'which is a pretty powerful statement…The book is super cute – both the story and the illustrations – and I love how, in the end, Scratch feels good about helping others in needs.' — Book Time

Contributor Bio

Michelle Kadarusman is a multi-award-winning author of middle-grade novels, including Music for Tigers, The Theory of Hummingbirds, and the Governor General's Award finalist Girl of the Southern Sea. Born in Melbourne, Australia, Michelle has also lived in Indonesia and Canada; today she splits her time between Toronto, Canada, and Byron Bay, Australia. Room For More, Michelle's first picture book, was inspired by Australian wildlife sheltering in wombat burrows during the devastating Australian bushfires of 2019-2020.

Maggie Zeng is a children's book illustrator, graphic designer, concept artist, and animator. Born in Montreal, she attends Concordia University and previously received the Outstanding Achievement Award in Applied Arts Technologies at Dawson College. Maggie loves making story-driven illustrations that convey a feeling of adventure and wonder through fun characters and magical environments. Her first picture book is This is the Boat That Ben Built.

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