Beautiful Bananas

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Beatrice, the heroine of Laird's (When the World Began) retelling of an African folktale, sets out across the jungle to her grandfather's house, intending to present him with a beautiful bunch of bananas. But a giraffe "flicks his tufty tail" and accidentally knocks the bananas out of Beatrice's arms and into a stream-setting off a chain reaction of animal faux pas and contrition that eventually brings the plot full circle. The giraffe apologizes by replacing the bananas with flowers; these in turn are ruined by some overzealous bees, who make amends by giving Beatrice some of their honey, and so on. The reparations of the final animal, an elephant, consist of none other than a bunch of bananas. "Oh, thank you," says round-faced, winsome Beatrice. "Bananas are best, after all." Pichon's (God Bless the Moon) pictures teem with energy, whether emanating from the comically expressive heroine or the boisterous but eager-to-please animals. The benevolently exotic setting glows with lemon yellow light and lime-green foliage, and readers will enjoy spotting, on each spread, the pair of eyes shining out between the jungle leaves. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Borrowed from an East African circular tale, this tale tells the story of Beatrice's trip to see her grandfather, carrying with her a bunch of bananas as a gift. During the journey, Beatrice encounters a number of different animals, each of whom complicates her journey. Giraffe inadvertently knocks the bananas into the river but replaces them with flowers. Later, bees swarm the flowers, and Beatrice ruins the bouquet, swatting the insects. The bees replace the bouquet with honey, but monkeys steal the treat and provide her mangoes. Beatrice eventually makes it to her grandfather's home and, thanks to an elephant, she has a new bunch of bananas for him. The relatively anthropomorphized animal characters in the work shift the story's tension away from nature's dangers and onto cooperation and making amends for each animal's misdeed. Brightly illustrated, the story's formulaic structure allows younger readers to involve themselves by trying to predict the next animal and the next gift, making the book a fun, interactive read for parent and child. 2003, Peachtree Publishers, Ages 4 to 8.
—K. C. Manus
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-This circular tale from East Africa incorporates familiar folkloric elements. A little girl sets out to take a gift of bananas to her grandfather. Along the way, she encounters a variety of jungle animals and each one causes an accident that results in her losing Granddad's present. The animal then replaces the lost object with a new one. By the time she arrives at the man's house, she once again has as a gift "a beautiful bunch of bananas." The cheerful, bold artwork complements the mood and setting of the story. The straightforward, repetitive plot is fast paced and will encourage children to anticipate the next calamity, and guess what the new item will be. With bright, eye-catching artwork and a simple text, this story makes a good read-aloud.-Margaret R. Tassia, Millersville University, PA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In the African jungle full of colorful foliage and lush fruit, Beatrice sets off to visit her granddad with a beautiful bunch of bananas. Along the way she meets a giraffe that accidentally whisks the bananas off Beatrice's head and into the steam. He gives her flowers to replace her gift. But the flowers get smashed when the bees arrive, and more mishaps follow her along the trail, until she is left with a single feather from a parrot; in a final mishap, the feather is blown away when the elephant she meets sneezes. But like the others, the elephant replaces her gift for her granddad-this time the replacement is a beautiful bunch of bananas. This gentle tale will delight young readers (and listeners). (Picture book/folktale. 2-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781561453054
  • Publisher: Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 3/28/2004
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.70 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2005

    Beautifully Illustrated Kid's Book!!!

    This cute little book has vivid illustrations, and the children in my class really enjoyed the creative plot as well!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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