A delightful picture book with words by Samantha Wheeler and illustrations by Shannon Horsfall, Once, I Munched a Mango (State Library of Queensland 2021) is published as part of the First5Forever program, in which SLQ released 12 new children’s picture books for Queensland’s youngest readers. Each book showcases Queensland in some way.
In this book, we meet a cute and furry fruit bat as he munches, nibbles and snacks on a variety of fruits such as strawberries, mangoes, paw paws, pineapples, lychees, custard apples, avocados, watermelon and passionfruit. Along the way, he meets other animals prevalent in Queensland, including a platypus, a green tree frog, dunnarts and bandicoots, a butterfly and a toad, turtles, dugongs, rays, a cassowary, a quoll, a brolga, a crocodile and a scary snake!
As the story progresses, the cute creature asks the question ‘Can you guess the place I live, the land I love to roam?’ The answer, of course, revealed at the end of the book, is Queensland.
This is a beautifully written and illustrated picture book which will engage young children or early readers with its array of fruits and animals, and the continual guessing game as to where the book is set. A lovely large hardcover book, this would make the perfect gift.