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This labored story centers on a small, furry, web-footed creature with a "scoopy duck bill" who appears on the Australian outback after heavy rains without knowing how he got there. He is a novelty to the other animals, one of whom, a blue-tongued skink, snidely comments, "You're the craziest looking thing I've ever seen.... What are you supposed to be?" While attempting to discover where he belongs-in a tree, in the air, on the ground-the lost animal repeatedly falls ("kersplat!"). An old bandicoot finally identifies him as a platypus and the skink derisively dubs him "Kersplatypus." Eventually Platypus feels drawn to the river's edge and, "before you could say 'Waltzing Matilda,' " jumps into the water and "flipped and flopped and felt right at home." The bullying skink gets his comeuppance, falling on a slippery rock with a "kersplash!" Rogers's mixed-media art offers detailed renderings of Australian species, but also anthropomorphizes them: the bandicoot walks with a cane, a possum wears a flower behind her ear, etc. Back matter introduces a schoolroom flavor, with some educational activities and discussion starters ("Has anyone ever made fun of you? Did you like it? What did you do?"). Ages 3-7. (Feb.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.