I don't know what I was expecting from this book - an Australian Wind in the Willows perhaps? Certainly something a little gentler than this. This is no children's book, it's an often violent and bloody tale - a Western, really, dressed up in animal costumes. It could easily have been written as such, with human characters. There's really no good reason why all the characters are animals, other than novelty, to gain a wider readership and it worked on me. I would never have picked this up had it been a straightforwardly-told tale about humans. The fact that it's animals, and Australian animals at that - a whole plethora of them; roos and dingoes, bandycoots and wombats, a Tasmanian Devil, and the eponymous Albert Platypus - certainly makes it stand out as something different. It feels like a trick and I found myself a little aggrieved by it. Which is not to say that Albert of Adelaide is in anyway a bad book. It's a good, straightforward, well-told adventure tale, as Albert and his wombat companion wander, lost and always searching, for Albert's fabled land of Old Australia. It's not cute and it's not funny. It's actually a rather dark tale. Not what I was expecting, and in all honesty, not my cup of tea.