Review Blog

Sep 15 2011

Banana skin chaos by Lilli L'Arronge

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Bloomsbury, 2011. ISBN 978 1 4088 0939 6.
(Ages 5+) Recommended. Picture book. When a young boy throws his banana skin onto the footpath in the town square, momentum builds as one after another of passers by, people in the street and workmen, are affected. Like the felling of a stack of dominoes falling after the first is pushed, the pictures build up the story with an expectation that is infectious. The readers know mayhem will erupt and eagerly turn the page with expectation and delight.
Brimming with humour, a knockout in simplicity and subtlety, the book will create opportunities to talk about consequences without being obvious and sentimental.
The seemingly simple action of throwing the banana skin is shown on the title page, introducing the reader to the initial action. Over the page, Hubert is chided by his sister for doing this, and then each following page outlines the series of consequences which result from that simple action. The illustration of the consequences get bigger and bigger on each page until it fills the whole double page spread. Like a Where's Wally book, readers will love finding the myriad of detail on each page, following the action which develops, eventually affecting everyone in the town square.
A list of questions at the end may be a starting point for a class discussion, or just a quiz amongst friends when they read the book, but whatever it is used for, kids will have fun with this book, and teachers may be able to use it when talking about consequences of their behaviour.
Fran Knight

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