That Fruit Is Mine!

Anuska Allepuz. Albert Whitman, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8075-7894-0
Raised in Spain and based in London, illustrator Allepuz makes her debut as author with the story of five fruit-loving elephants competing to retrieve the “most delicious-looking exotic fruit” from the branches of a very tall tree. “Mine!” shouts each elephant as his or her scheme falls flat, sometimes quite literally—Elephant Three attempts to scale the tree, but doesn’t “get very far at all” before he lands on the jungle floor with a giant “oof.” All the while, readers see five tiny mice working together, scaling the tree and eventually succeeding where the elephants fall short. “This fruit is ours,” the mice cheer, ushering in a lesson about cooperation and sharing. Saturated colors and bold crayonlike strokes and shapes amplify the physical comedy built into the story. “Weren’t there five of us?” one elephant asks toward the end; Elephant Two can be seen sailing into the distance on her leaf parasail, still shouting “Mine!” The jokes keep Allepuz’s tale from becoming too didactic even as its message remains quite clear. Ages 3–5. Agent: Paul Moreton, Bell Lomax Moreton. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/08/2018
Release date: 03/01/2018
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