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BANANA! by Ed Vere


by Ed Vere & illustrated by Ed Vere

Age Range: 2 - 6

Pub Date: Nov. 23rd, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8050-9214-1
Publisher: Henry Holt

Using only the words “banana” and “please,” Vere tells a story about two monkeys and one coveted fruit. As in Chris Raschka’s Yo!Yes? (2003), minimalist text gains expression through varied punctuation and typeface, while speech balloons and other comic-book conventions (not to mention one spectacular simian tantrum) evoke a certain pigeon. Bold, expressive colors and exuberant lines characterize the artwork, which eschews background detail and focuses on the monkeys themselves. One, dressed in blue and white, discovers the banana, and the other, in red and white, sees him and cries, “Banana!” only to be rebuffed. “Banana?” he asks after the page turn, but no dice. After several pages of escalating emotion and no sharing, he finally says, “Please,” and his companion offers to share; but the red-clad monkey forgets his newfound manners and swipes the banana away. The ending is rushed in this otherwise finely paced book: “Please!” calls the blue-shirted monkey on the penultimate page, and all is resolved with the banana in two pieces and a shared speech balloon declaring “Banana!” at book’s end. (Picture book. 2-6)