cover image Banana!


Ed Vere, Holt, $12.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8050-9214-1

With big, bold spreads and only two words ("Banana" and "Please"), Vere's (The Getaway) story about sharing packs impressive graphic force. A googly-eyed monkey with a Pac-man mouth and stringy arms and legs appears with a banana. Another monkey follows, lit up with excitement. "Banana!" he exclaims; with every spread, his "Banana" cry and his desire grow more desperate. "BANANA!" he screams, finally, arms and legs flailing, with blocks of intense color vibrating behind his tantrum. Seeing the monkey's agony, the first monkey cups his hand to his ear and waits for the magic word: "Please?" The monkeys are drawn simply, defined by black lines with charged, jagged edges. Printed on fields of highly saturated color with no scenery to distract, the figures command attention. Vere's background colors correspond perfectly to the monkeys' changing emotions: yellow for elation, orange and neon pink for escalating worry, and light blue when the banana is split. Without plodding or preaching, the story goes by at the speed of a 15-second television spot, and even the youngest readers will quickly take the point. Ages 1–4. (Nov.)