Review Blog

Nov 14 2019

A banana is a banana by Justine Clarke and Josh Pyke

cover image

Illus. by Heath McKenzie. Penguin, 2019. ISBN: 9781760891664.
(Age: 3-6) Themes: Names, Humourous stories. Based on the authors' song by the same name, A banana is a banana looks at the humour in some of the names given to things ('If an eggplant really grew eggs, chickens would be out of a job. If a catfish was really made of cats, then it might get chased by a dog . . . And a banana is a banana. That's what it's called. I don't know why'). This definitely sounds better when sung, but it reads rather well and unlike the song it allows time for discussion about what it means.
Kids will love 'getting the joke' ('It would be just like a bad dream, if they serve you up jellyfish and ice cream') but they may need some help understanding it. This will be enjoyed by those who are already familiar with the song but will also encourage those who don't know it to have a listen. As always, Heath McKenzie's illustrations are bright and fun and use mini-versions of the three creators.
This is a fun nonsense book that isn't complete nonsense, because it does make you think!
Nicole Nelson

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