One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree

illus. by Brendan Wenzel. 32p. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Bks. May 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062354853.
PreS-Gr 2—"One day in the leaves/of the eucalyptus tree/hung a scare in the air/where no eye could see." A large yellow snake with purple forked tongue lies in wait for its next meal. Along comes a wide-eyed little boy, who gets gobbled right up. "'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.'" And so, with the clever tyke's encouragement, the greedy predator proceeds to eat a bird with a worm, a cat, an ape eating grapes, a bear, a hive full of bees, and a fruit with a fly. "Gurgle-gurgle came a blurble/from that belly deep and full…" and out exit the animal's victims, leaving the regretful snake with a "crummy tummyache." The digitally created art features full spreads depicting the ever-inflating snake and its alarmed victims on the recto and the boy and the other victims cloaked in the darkness of the snake's belly on the verso. Children will enjoy the rhythms of the musical text and eagerly anticipate each new meal, reveling in the inevitable outcome.
VERDICT Pair this title with any version of "There Was an Old Lady" for a satisfying storytime.

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