Banjo bounces back by Lachie Hume

cover image

Scholastic, 2012. ISBN 978 1 86291 846 7
Picture book, Ages 4-6, Team work
Banjo loves Hoofball, and plays with his friends on Saturday in their team called the Winnies. He loves practicing his techniques with his friend, Bella. But one day while jumping up high to get the ball, he falls and hurts his ankle. The doctor, Dr Gray, orders him to stay at home and rest for 6 weeks, and during that time, Banjo lies about playing Haystation and eating lots of molasses.
When he comes to play again, he is no longer a star, as he has put on weight and his neglect of practice sees him lacking his usual skills. He becomes more despondent and takes to his bed, doing the same things he was doing before, playing Haystation and eating molasses. He shuns his best friend, Bella, but on hearing that she is in hospital, comes out of his shell and visits her. She is worried that she will miss the finals, and Banjo decides to get fit enough to help her regain her place in the team. Together they work hard at playing with the team once again.
A neatly resolved story of team work and working together to achieve a goal, this brightly illustrated book will have wide appeal with junior primary classes where these themes are under discussion. And the humour in the language used, bringing in horsey words will not be missed by the very young.
Fran Knight