Jonathan Allen, Author Boxer Books $12.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-905417-07-0
Allen's (I'm Not Cute!) premise is simplicity-and silliness-itself. Fans of Jez Alborough's Hug may recognize a similarity of format here: an unattributed cry goes forth in the jungle-""Banana!"" (in the form of a thought balloon)-followed by a spirited hurling of the fruit at one of the inhabitants on each full-bleed spread (the book's horizontal format is ideal for emphasizing the banana's inexorable flight path). No one is safe: A snakes takes a hit on the forehead, a sloth gets knocked out of a tree and an elephant (of course) takes a wrong step on a fallen banana and finds himself flipped on his back, seeing stars. The culprit? A mischievous monkey who thinks it's all very clever. But justice is quickly served: his fellow creatures warn, ""Bananas!"" then bombard the monkey with a produce stand's worth of ammunition. The gleefully cartooned animals, bright, fanciful palette and the one-word text, which begs to be yelled at the top of one's lungs, will likely prompt repeat performances (and even prod along letter and word recognition). Grownups, however, may have to preface each reading with a warning: don't try this at home. Ages 3-6.
Reviewed on: 02/27/2006
Release date: 03/01/2006
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