Reviews for Bananas In My Ears : A Collection of Nonsense Stories, Poems, Riddles, and Rhymes

Booklist Reviews 2012 November #2
Starting with the title and cover images, this collection of nonsense verse will delight young children--and those who read to them--with the sounds of the words, and the wry small ink-and-watercolor illustrations that show uproarious scenarios in daily life. The entries are divided into four sections: Breakfast ("What if hard-boiled eggs turned into hard-boiled legs?"); Seaside ("Smelly Jelly Smelly Fish"); Doctor (showcasing the dreariness of the waiting room); and Under the Bed ("in here after dark, curtains shake and closets creak"). The wordplay and silly noises are a big part of the fun, and grown-ups, too, will appreciate the diagnosis of what's wrong with the doctor ("Spollyollydiddlytiddlyitis"). Occasionally, Rosen deviates from silliness, as on one beautiful double-page spread that depicts the physical sound, sight, and touch of walking on the beach ("over my toes / goes / the soft sea wash"). Kids will recognize the universal situations and emotions, as in "Things You Say": "He started it." Once again, Rosen and Blake--both British Children's Laureates--have created a title with long-lasting appeal. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Spring
Blake's loose illustrations and Rosen's often free-verse poetry are well matched in this compilation of four themed collections. The poems and stories highlight ordinary moments at breakfast, the seaside, the doctor's office, and bedtime, and occasionally venture into flights of fancy. Readers comfortable without traditional structure may enjoy these slices of life.

School Library Journal Reviews 2013 February

K-Gr 3--This collection is organized around four topics: breakfast, the seaside, going to the doctor, and bedtime. While the poems focus on the nonsensical-a boy has bananas in his ears, so he can't hear anyone who tells him that he has bananas in his ears, another boy is surprised when a ghost emerges from his toast-the selections are tied together by the repetition of particular characters and formats. Many of the pieces feature family scenes, and a few formats are repeated in each section, including some about brother and sister Nat and Anna. "What If?" poems utilize speech bubbles for the text. Every poem is paired with a watercolor and ink cartoon illustrations. Some get small vignette images scattered across the page, while others appear on full spreads. Some, like the "Things We Say" selections, depend on the illustrations for extra details, while others are simply complemented by them. The nonsense topics and amusing images are sure to entertain kids, presenting life in all its messy, crazy, chaotic glory. The focus here is on the mundane, with bursts of imagination kids that will relate to. This book could work well as a read-aloud for small groups, but it might be enjoyed even more when children share it together.--Heather Talty, formerly at Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School, New York City

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