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Once I Munched a Mango

By Samantha Wheeler

Illustrated by Shannon Horsfall

Reviewed by Mia Macrossan

Samantha Wheeler is a versatile writer perhaps best known for her middle grade animal rescue stories such as Wombat Warriors, Turtle Trackers, and Mister Cassowary.  She gained wide acclaim for Everything I’ve Never Said, the moving  story about a disabled girl based, in part, on her own daughter.

Shannon Horsfall is a Queensland based writer and illustrator of children’s books including My Unicorn Farts Glitter by Suzanne Barton.

Once I Munched a Mango  is one of the twelve new picture books for Queensland’s youngest readers published as part of First 5 Forever, an early literacy program  initiated by the Queensland Government and coordinated by the State Library of Queensland.

A little fruit bat is trying to eat any fruit it can find – slurping a strawberry, picking paw paws, peeling a pineapple, chewing honeydew – and each time it sees, hears, finds a different Queensland animal, e.g., a bandicoot, tree frog, platypus and more.

The refrain Can you guess the place I live, the land I love to roam?  encourages  listeners to speculate about Australian places they may have visited.

This a light-hearted romp  about an Australian animal eating Australian foods told in rhyme. The engaging rhythm and repetition is sure to appeal as are the bold, bright and  colourful illustrations.

This very attractive picture book is full of fun with plenty of vivid word imagery– this adventurous fruit bat even meets a big snake and a shark – guaranteed to be enjoyed by children.

First 5 Forever

State Library of Queensland 2020

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