Wednesday 2 October 2019

A Banana is a Banana

A Banana is a Banana by Justine Clarke and Josh Pyke, illustrated by Heath McKenzie (Puffin) HB RRP $19.99 ISBN9781 7608916664

Reviewed by Dianne Bates

More and more publishers are commissioning media personalities and household names to write books for young readers. Justine Clarke is an ABCKids personality and singer who has collaborated with singer and songwriter Pyke to write this picture book for children aged seven and up.

The text is simple and relies on wordplay. It starts: ‘If an eggplant really grew eggs, chickens would be out of a job’ (with an odd and inaccurate picture of an eggplant that looks like a bulbous tree). And, the text proceeds: ‘If a butterfly was really made of butter, its wings would melt in the sun.’ The rest of the text follows along these lines and concludes that a banana is a banana (‘that’s what it’s called, I don’t know why.’) 

The illustrations are by Heath McKenzie who specialises in stylised digital illustrations (aiming to make them look as non-digital as possible). He’s managed to do this here, using cartoon-style, active characters against brightly colour backgrounds.

Overall the text and illustrations are amusing and will probably tickle the funny bones of children who have vivid imaginations.

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