Betty Goes Bananas by Steve Antony
Released December 23, 2014.
Betty is a gorilla and being a gorilla, she loves bananas. So when she finds one on the ground, she wants to eat it so much. But she can’t open it, even with her teeth, or her feet! So what is a little gorilla to do? Well, Betty throws a fit and cries and screams. Then she calms down and Mr. Toucan tells her that there is no need to act like that, he will show her how to peel the banana. And he does. But Betty had wanted to peel it herself. And she starts once again to cry and scream and kick. Mr. Toucan stays and waits for her to calm down again, telling her that she can peel the next banana she finds. Betty is happy and is about to finally eat the banana. When it breaks. And I bet you can guess what she does next!
This is a rather merry book about the strong emotions that come with being a toddler. Betty is a jolly little gorilla until she is disappointed, something that children and adults alike will recognize immediately. The addition of Mr. Toucan as an adult figure works well here, and I appreciate that he allows Betty to calm down before simply telling her that there is no need for her to act that way. The entire book is filled with humor, from the splendid temper tantrums that have a rhythm and repetition all their own, to the believability of the various things that set Betty off. It’s well paced and nicely timed with gorgeous pauses built in before the tantrums.
Antony’s art adds much to the appeal of the book. The bulk of the book is done with sunshine yellow backgrounds, while the tantrum sections are a bright red. Little Betty does actually throw herself on the ground, kick her feet and scream! Her emotions are clear and young readers will enjoy seeing her throw her tantrums and recover too.
Dynamic, funny and oh so appropriate for toddlers, this picture book will be enjoyed by those who throw tantrums as well as those who don’t. Appropriate for ages 1-3.
Reviewed from copy received from Schwartz & Wade.