WOW, can you believe there are only 3 months left in 2016? I surely can't, but yet it is already October. That means it is only 81 days to until Christmas! I know, I know some of you are pretty amazing people and have finished all your Christmas shopping already. For those of us ahem, (I'm giving myself a stern mental talking right now) not so on top of it, consider giving someone you love the gift that keeps on giving, a book! What book you ask? Start with One Day in the Eucalyptus Eucalyptus Tree by Daniel Bernstrom. If you like this book and want to see more great children's books from 2016 thus far, simply follow the links included at the bottom of this post to see the remaining recommended list from a few AMAZING authors and bloggers in Pickle Corn Jam's first blog link up party!
One Day in the Eucalyptus Eucalyptus Tree (Hardcover)
By: Daniel Bernstrom
Illustrated by: Brendan Wenzel
Publisher: Harper Collins
Age Range: 4 - 8
Grade Level: Preschool - 3
The makings of a good children's book is its real-aloud-ability. Generally speaking most books are good read aloud books, but every once in awhile a phenomenal read aloud children's book comes along and will have your kids in stitches as well as reciting funny rhymes from the book. This book is definitely in the category of phenomenal read aloud books.
One day an unsuspecting boy was skipping along playing with his whirly-twirly toy, when all of a sudden a shifty serpent swallowed him whole. "Yummy in my tummy," said the serpent, while the unsuspecting but clever boy immediately used his wits to start outwitting the serpent. "I'll bet," said the boy "that you are still very hungry and there's more you can eat." That cunning statement was the beginning of the serpent's downfall. As the clever boy persuaded the serpent to eat more and more, filling his belly with birds, sloths, and even an ape eating grapes, the serpent's belly started to grow smaller and smaller. Finally, the serpent's belly had grown so tight, he moaned as he asked the boy "Should I take another bite?" "Oh surely, very surely, Mr. Snake," said the boy "there is room, still more room for something more." Swaying in the breeze was a small fruit with a teeny-tiny fly on it, the greedy snake gulped it down and...wait...out whizzed the fly, out ran the bear and out skipped the boy playing with his whirly-twirly toy. How did the boy get out? I guess you will have to read it to see what happened.
The fun cadence of the rhythmic words in this colorful book will surely engage children and adults alike. As I was reading this story aloud to my kids, I had this nagging feeling in the back of my mind that I had heard a story similar to this one before as a child myself. Sadly, I can not remember the name of the book, although that's not a bad thing. I have an enormous fondness in my heart for books that remind me of books from my childhood. This book unquestionably hits that tender spot. This is Daniel Bernstrom's first book and I must say, I can't wait to read more of his stories, as we will be reading this book over and over for quite some time.
The illustrations by Brendan Wenzel in this book are simply superb. From the "beautiful brown boy" as stated by National Book Award Winner Jacqueline Woodson* to the cartoonish serpent, Wenzel positively outdid himself on the illustrations in this book. The colors in the book are vivid and bright, yet subtle. I'm no illustrator but I'll assume that creating a balance between vibrant but not overwhelming colors in art isn't an easy feat, though Wenzel made it look easy.
If you are considering gifting this book to a loved one with young, energetic kids I promise they will love you forever. The re-readability of this book is 5 stars! There are numerous ways you could read this book with a group of kids at story time or even a couple of kids and still engage your listeners. Lastly, if you have little ones that love to move around during story time, you can engage them as well by having them act out Mr. Snake movements as he is stalking his next prey!
Ready for the rest of our 2016 recommendations? Just follow the links!
Cate Berry on The Snurtch
Charnaie Gordon on Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion
Danna Smith on Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille
Eileen Manes on Best Frints in the Whole Universe
Henry L. Herz on Return
Karen Santhanam on Mabel and the Queen of Dreams
Kell Andrews on City Shapes
Keyosha Atwater on One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree
Liz Garton Scanlon on Owl Sees Owl
Vanessa Roeder on Horrible Bear
*Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
Enjoyed this review? Then check out:
I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Dreidel by Caryn Yacowitz