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One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree

by Daniel Bernstrom
Illustrated by Brendan Wenzel

Published by Katherine Tegen Books / HarperCollins, 2016
32 pages
ISBN: 978-0062354853

Ages 3-7

The premise is not unfamiliar: a dangerous creature, in this case a snake, eats a series of unsuspecting victims, here beginning with a boy, only to be outsmarted and meet its comeuppance. But everything about the telling is fresh and full of delight in this begs-to-be-read-aloud rhythmic, rollicking tale. “‘I’ll bet,” said the boy, in the belly dark and deep, ‘that you’re still very hungry, and there’s more you can eat.’” Indeed, there is more, and each time the boy repeats this refrain the snake is encouraged to gobble up something else: a bird, a cat, a sloth, an ape, a “rare kind of bear,” and a hive full of bees. Then the bulging-bellied snake takes one more bite: a small piece of fruit with a “teeny-tiny” fly. “Gurgle-gurgle came a blurble, from that belly deep and full.” It’s one bite too many and out they all come, ending with the brown-skinned boy and his “whirly-twirly toy.” Vibrant action words, playful descriptors, internal rhyme and alliteration all energize a story that take place “in the eucalyptus, eucalyptus tree.” Colorful, digitally rendered illustrations add to the whimsy. ©2016 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

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