A dark-skinned “boy with a whirly-twirly toy” skips through the forest, unaware of the snake lurking in the eucalyptus tree.
That sneaky snake gobbles up the boy and his toy. From deep inside “the belly dark and deep” the intrepid boy repeats a refrain suggesting that the snake is still hungry and should eat something else, as there is certainly more room in its tummy. Finding a plethora of animals in the double-named tree, the snake eats a bird with a worm and, encouraged further, proceeds to gobble a cat, a sloth, a bear, and an entire hive filled with bees. Finally, goaded by the boy, he swallows a small piece of fruit, complete with fly. The hugely engorged snake can hold no more and gurgles and belches out all the creatures it has swallowed, including the little boy, who goes merrily on his way with his toy, leaving the snake with a massive tummy ache. Bernstrom’s spritely language rhythmically sings an exciting, laugh-filled, cumulative story. Bold, large print highlights the events as the snake slides, wiggles, and twists while the animals crinkle, munch, and buzz. Wenzel’s wildly imaginative, brightly hued digital illustrations are a wonderfully goofy complement to the action, whether depicting the goings-on in the dark tummy or the creatures’ idiosyncrasies and their bug-eyed surprise as they are consumed.
Marvelous fun. (Picture book. 3-8)