Hamline News

MFAC Alum Book Release: Daniel Bernstrom


One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree
by Daniel Bernstrom
Published by Katherine Tegen Books
Release May 3, 2016
Picture Book (ages 4-8), 32 pages
Illustrations by Brendan Wenzel 
Order the book: HarperCollins 

Daniel’s Author site: Lilly Labs



“One Day in the leaves of the eucalyptus tree hung a scare in the air where no eye could see, when along skipped a boy with a whirly-twirly toy, to the shade of the eucalyptus, eucalyptus tree. Join a shifty serpent, a clever little boy, and a disappearing cast of animals in a cumulative tale that will have children captivated.” [Jacket Copy] 

With its striking cast of forest creatures, One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree is Daniel Bernstrom’s amusing and original tale of a plucky little boy who is gobbled up by a giant snake. Consuming his victims at an alarming rate, this snake doesn’t realize that his captives are planning their escape. In the spirit of There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by Simms Taback, the reader sees a cutaway of the snake’s belly and can maybe even guess how the tale ends! Classic and contemporary, timeless and fresh, One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree has a syncopated and rhythmically delightful text perfect for reading aloud.



“Love the book. . . . A hungry snake. A beautiful brown boy. What more can a young reader ask for?”
—National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson

“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 . . .
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review

“Debut author Bernstrom draw(s) in readers with lilting refrains and exuberant wordplay. Wenzel knows how to mix his media: there’s a luxuriously whiskered cat, a sloth with a sweaterlike coating of moss, “an ape eating grapes,/ lounging like a queen,” and a very big bear.’
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Onomatopoeia and action words abound, as does the rhythm and repetition, making this cumulative tale skip along. The rainbow eucalyptus tree, its leaves, and the fanciful mix of critters are depicted in marvelously colorful digital illustrations.”
—Booklist (starred review)

“What fun Daniel Bernstrom has with words! Living as we do in a society where the emphasis is on television, film, and videos, this book shows children how delightful language can be. The wonderful and colorful illustrations add to the playful joy of this book.”
—Newbery Honor winner Julius Lester



Daniel Bernstrom recently had two more picture books acquired by HarperCollins. He currently works as the Learning Resource Center Coordinator at Minnesota State College—Southeast Technical College, where he tutors students in math, writing, and science. He received his MFA (Master of Fine Arts) in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University in 2013. 

"Daniel, a visually impaired writer, loves stories that have rhythm and music; stories, as Uri Shulevitz once said, 'are the soundtrack to the child's silent film.'

This story of the eucalyptus tree came to Daniel late one night while working as a janitor at a preschool. The eucalyptus tree (a favorite of his mother's), which grows along the coast of Northern California, tickled his tongue and imagination. The animals in the tree-populated the preschool where Daniel worked, waiting patiently atop the shelf at the back for the next day of play. The strange combination of a tickly word and an odd assortment of stuffed animals spawned this undulating syncopated story of impossibility, darkness, and hope." [HarperCollins Bio]

Daniel lives in Red Wing, Minnesota with his wife, daughter, and son. 

Follow Daniel’s tweets at @danielbernstrom  
Connect through his Facebook author page