IF I WAS A BANANA by Alexandra Tylee


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 7
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A child imagines life as any of a variety of animals, natural phenomena, or inanimate objects.

A New Zealand import, this low-key, whimsical exploration of imagination repays repeat readings. As the first-person narration begins, an adult and child stand in front of a store window full of bananas. In subsequent pictures the brown-haired, white child appears alone. Sometimes the child is shown indoors, poring over a picture of a mountain, clicking off a bedside lamp, looking at the bottle of milk on the breakfast table. Other times the child appears outdoors, watching a storm, holding a ladybug, or approaching a majestic old tree. Everything the child sees sparks a possibility: what it would be like to be a spoon (“I think I might quite like it”) or a fish in a fish bowl (decidedly less appealing). Drawn in a mostly realistic style with occasional touches of anthropomorphic exaggeration, the illustrations appear to have been created in pencil and oil pastel. Multiple sizes, from vignettes to double-page spreads, and unusual perspectives provide interest and rhythm. Rich textures and muted colors add to the dreamy quality of the text, which has a thoughtful, reflective tone throughout.

While some young listeners might prefer more action, those who share the unnamed narrator’s quirky viewpoint will be pleased to discover that they aren’t the only ones who wonder. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-776570-33-1
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Gecko Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2016


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