Reviews for Banana!

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Spring
One monkey has a banana, another monkey wants it. With just two words (banana and please), Vere traverses an entire world of emotions which even the youngest listeners will recognize. From the Warhol-style endpapers to the monkeys themselves, Vere uses bright colors and raw-edged lines to reinforce the wildly variant feelings depicted in each spread. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2010 October #1

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)

Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2010 October #4

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.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2010 November

PreS-Gr 2--Two big-eyed monkeys, two words, but only one banana. How to solve this dilemma is the premise of this colorful story. The monkey in the blue shirt has the banana, and the one in the red shirt wants it. Vere tells their story entirely through facial expressions, body language, and a clever use of "dialogue" which rapidly degenerates into a monkey melt down ("Banana! Banana? BANANA!!"). The monkey in blue reconsiders sharing, but only after his friend offers the second word in this story, a hesitant, "Please?" There's a bit more for these two to learn, but the end result is a win-win situation. Done in brightly colored inks and placed on pages of bold blues, yellows, pinks, and purples, this story is reminiscent of Chris Raschka's Yo! Yes? (Orchard, 1993) with its expressiveness and minimal dialogue. A fun choice for sharing with a group.--Roxanne Burg, Orange County Public Library, CA

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