Wednesday, May 18, 2016
WILD & WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY: Two WILD picture books!
ABOUT THE BOOK
Boy and Bear both love to explore the outdoors. There are so many neat things to see, and so many strange things to find. These explorers are prepared for anything . . . except each other!
When Bear and Boy meet in the woods, they're scared at first. Really scared. But soon these kings of the wild realize that no mountain is too big to conquer if you have a friend to climb it by your side.
Atkinson's boy and bear are adorable protagonists in this homage to the joys of nature and friendship. The boy and the bear start out on parallel journeys, enjoying the woods, creek, and animals near their homes. Preparation is essential for such an exploration and both bear and boy carry what they need with them. After enjoying their journey alone, they bump into each other. At first they are scared of each other, until they realize that they other is an explorer just like himself. They join forces to continue exploring and even take on a mountain. I thoroughly enjoyed the adorable illustrations here as the bear and the boy share their adventures and the beauty of nature. This book is a sweet reminder that life can be full of sweet moments and friendships, and while such moments tend to be fleeting, it's important to experience them to the fullest and keep the memories close. A book that made me smile from beginning to end.
ABOUT THE BOOK
“A hungry snake. A beautiful brown boy. What more can a young reader ask for?”—National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson
With its striking cast of forest creatures, One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree is Daniel Bernstrom’s amusing and original tale of a plucky little boy who is gobbled up by a giant snake.
Consuming his victims at an alarming rate, this snake doesn’t realize that his captives are planning their escape. In the spirit of There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by Simms Taback, the reader sees a cutaway of the snake’s belly and can maybe even guess how the tale ends! Classic and contemporary, timeless and fresh, One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree has a syncopated and rhythmically delightful text perfect for reading aloud.
After reading Betsy Bird's recent review of this book, I knew I had to get my hands on it and share it with my students. So I did. And I was not disappointed in the slightest. The book is a delight both textually and visually. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this text out loud, it has a great rhythm and rhyme to it with word phrases such as crinkle, wrinkle and wiggle-waggle adding vim and vigor to the reading. And of course, the word, eucalyptus as Betsy points out has a rhythm all its own, it was fun to say it over and over again. I think the next time I read it out loud, I'll have the children chime in with me on the 'one day in the eucalyptus, eucalyptus tree' refrain. The illustrations are amusing with the dark pages getting bigger as more creatures join the boy in the snake's stomach. My first graders were thrilled to point out how the snake's belly got bigger and bigger as he ate more and more animals. The book has a trickster feel to it as the boy urges the snake to keep eating. I enjoyed asking my young listeners why they thought he did this, some of them figured out the end object of regurgitation, some said to get him to burp, but they all enjoyed the journey. And the last page definitely elicited a few gasps as the children realized that the story might be repeating itself all too soon and perhaps the eucalyptus tree wasn't the best place to take a nap. A real winner from beginning to end.