Review Blog

Jul 29 2013

Where are you, Banana? by Sofie Laguna

cover image

Ill. by Craig Smith. Allen and Unwin, 2013. ISBN 978 1 74331 053 3.
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Picture book. Animals. Family. Lost. Banana the dog has been with the family since Roddy could first speak. On sighting this brown and black long thin dog, his first word was banana, so that is what he was called. He is part of the family, sleeping on Roddy's bed at night, chewing the twins' rug and Mum's shoes and Dad's helmet, crooning in the yard if left outside, and on this particular day, escaping though a hole in the fence, after being left at home alone. After all, Aunt Celia does not like having Banana at her house so he must miss out on her bbq and especially her chooks.
When the family arrives home, they search everywhere, but cannot find their pooch. During the night, Roddy cannot sleep thinking about his dog, so dons his clothes, takes the torch and searches the streets. Following the sound of Banana leads him to the distressed animal, stuck down a hole dug by maintenance workers. He rushes back home for help, gathering some equipment which may help drag out the hapless dog, and even the neighbours lend a hand.
This happy, family centred story is a quiet and subtle exposure of the household and how it works together, given greater resonance through Smith's drawings, adding detail to the spare, evocative text. The watercolour illustrations are deftly done with differing perspectives of the family given. Craig Smith captures this significant and emotive event within the family with seeming ease, but the details reflect incredible skill. The looks on all the faces, particularly Banana's, will captivate a large audience as this book is shared, read aloud or borrowed to take home.
Fran Knight

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