Cam and her little sister Sophie are desperate to see a platypus. They feel like they’ve been travelling forever to get to the rainforest and the river. So, when it starts to rain, they don’t let that stop them from searching the riverbanks for platypi with their cousin Jack. It is a rainforest, after all.
Cam and Sophie are in awe of the beautiful and majestic forest. It fills them with joy – as well as water. That’s when they realise the rainforest is in a flood, wiping clean the animal track they were following. All they want is to see a platypus – or three – out in the wild.
Soon enough they’re battling the slippery forest, rumbling tummies, and leeches stuck to Sophie. But with the rain now bucketing down and the river turning wild, they can’t see a thing. Until suddenly, the can. They spot a platypus being strangled by a red rubber band.
Cam, Sophie, and Jack attempt to rescue the platypus, but it goes horribly wrong. Jack thinks he can catch the struggling creature, but disaster strikes and the cousins are swept downstream and are at risk of hypothermia. It’s not just the platypus that needs saving now.
Home is soon a long, slow, soggy walk back upstream. But all is not as it seems and the river they think they’re trying to follow seems to be flowing the wrong way. Cold and worried, these cousins show what true resilience and sacrifice mean when you need to protect your loved ones.
Author and illustrator Cristy Burne grew up climbing trees, jumping drains, chasing crows and inventing stories. Cristy holds degrees in both biotechnology and science communication, expressing her passion for writing as both a science writer and a children’s author. Beneath the Trees’ is a page-turning combination of true-to-life survival techniques, environmental themes and action, which makes for a fun and informative read for children aged 6+.
Through previous work as a science circus performer, Santa’s pixie, and atom-smashing reporter (to name a few), Cristy strives to blend science and technology through creativity. In Beneath the Trees, we can see Cristy fuse these passions through the book’s ability to enthuse, engage, and inspire.
Cristy combines distinct illustrations at the perfect points of the story that vividly portray the book’s pivotal moments about courage, leadership and leeches. The perfect adventure story for anyone who’s ever wanted to see a platypus or visit a rainforest – I know I have!