Betty’s hunger gets the better of her when she faces a banana she cannot open.
Betty, a baby gorilla, is like little folks everywhere when she is hungry. She wants to eat now. That banana seems promising, but Betty is stymied: How can she get past the peel? She tries using her hands, teeth and feet, but nothing works. Frustrated, Betty erupts, crying, screaming and banging her feet. A helpful toucan shows her how to peel the desired fruit, but Betty wants to peel it herself. She falls into another tantrum about that, and she melts down again when the banana breaks. The backgrounds of the spreads reflect Betty’s moods: fully saturated red when Betty has lost it and gentle yellows and whites when she calms herself. Children, whose emotions can run a roller coaster, will have no choice but to giggle at Betty’s behavior. Mr. Toucan, playing the role of the reasonable but understanding adult, shifts his eye knowingly at readers, adding to the fun. Childlike illustrations in pencil and graphite sticks on banana paper (naturally!) draw children into Betty’s life with humor. She looks innocent in her pink dress with matching bow, but her smile disappears quickly when her body collapses in exasperation.
Teachers and parents of short-fused toddlers will read this over and over. Serve with bananas. (Picture book. 2-6)