STARRED REVIEW
March 07, 2018

Teamwork makes for sweet success

illustrated by Anuska Allepuz

Spanish illustrator Anuska Allepuz makes her picture book debut with That Fruit is Mine!, a delightful offering aimed at the preschool set. Replete with bright colors and lots of fun alliterative phrases, the story follows five elephants who live in the jungle.

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Spanish illustrator Anuska Allepuz makes her picture book debut with That Fruit Is Mine!, a delightful offering aimed at the preschool set. Replete with bright colors and lots of fun alliterative phrases, the story follows five elephants who live in the jungle. Like toddlers claiming toys in a playroom, they’re all quite happy with the fruit they’ve chosen as their favorite meal. That is, until one day, the elephants discover a new fruit tree: “And on that very tall tree was the MOST delicious-looking exotic fruit the elephants had ever seen. EVERYONE wanted to eat it.”

Each elephant tries out his or her idea to nab that juicy golden fruit that’s hanging high out of reach. Each one is frustrated, and all are convinced of a fact: “That fruit is MINE.” But then the selfish elephants see the fruit being successfully moved by the collaborative efforts of five mice who carry it off together before indulging in a shared feast. “This fruit is OURS,” they say. Inspired, the astonished elephants find a way to work together in order to obtain their prize.

Allepuz’s elephants are a joy, and young readers will have no trouble discerning the emotions on their faces—from frustration to fruit-filled satisfaction. They’ll also enjoy discovering that the mice, who appear at the end, have actually been busy modeling cooperation throughout the story. With its simple phrasing, sly humor and lots of chances for audience participation, That Fruit Is Mine! will lend itself well to a preschool storytime reading or a bedtime story at home.

 

Deborah Hopkinson lives near Portland, Oregon. Her most recent book for young readers is Ordinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen.

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That Fruit Is Mine!

That Fruit Is Mine!

illustrated by Anuska Allepuz
Albert Whitman
ISBN 9780807578940

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