Tuesday 31 January 2012

All Monkeys Love Bananas

All Monkeys Love Bananas written and illustrated by Sean E Avery (Fremantle Press)
HB RRP $24.95
ISBN 9-781-921-888-731
Reviewed by Neridah McMullin

All Monkeys Love Bananas is a fast paced, funny rhyming story about a little monkey who has had too much of a good thing – bananas!

“All monkeys love bananas! For breakfast, for dinner, for snacks and for lunch, they all crave bananas, munch, munch, munch. Well, most monkeys do…”

Lou McGrew has eaten so many bananas, he can’t stand the thought of eating another one.

Any Dr.Suess fans out there will love the rhythm of this story as Lou he runs away from his mum and shares his tale of woe with his bunny rabbit best friend Sue Hopoloo. Sue also has a similar problem, she cannot stand to eat another carrot! So they decide to swap carrots for bananas.

“But when they taste each others food…they are happy, they are rude. Blegh! YUCK! Are you trying to poison me?!”

So bananas aren’t so bad after all…and Lou and Sue go back to their original food sources.

The prose is well written and moves along with adventurous speed and high energy in a delightful singsong fashion. My seven-year old enjoyed it immensely (and now tries out the last line on me all the time at mealtimes: “Are you trying to poison me?!” Yes, I say, eat it).

Two themes are put up for discussion here: ‘the grass isn’t always greener on the other side’ and the question of tolerance in that ‘we all like different things’ and that’s what makes the world a wonderful place.

The artwork is a humorous fusion of drawing and digital, the mainstay of colour being black and white tones with splashes of colour throughout. Sean E Avery is a very talented sculptor and artist and there is no doubt his work is unique.

This is a highly recommended read for pre-school and lower primary school readers.

Neridah McMullin is the author of three books for children. Her next book is an Indigenous folklore story called 'Kick it to me!'. It’s an ‘aussie rules’ story that’s being endorsed by the Australian Football League. Neridah loves family, footy, and doing yoga with her cat Carlos (who also just happens to love footy). www.neridahmcmullin.com

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