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Bananas in My Ears: A Collection of Nonsense Stories, Poems, Riddles & Rhymes by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Quentin Blake, 79 pp, RL 3


Do  you have a collection of children's poetry and stories in your home right now? I'll wager you don't. Oh sure, you have Where the Sidewalk Ends and maybe a fairy tale collection or two, but that's not quite the same. Every house needs a book like Bananas in My Ears: A Collection of Nonsense Stories, Poems, Riddles and Rhymes by Michael Rosen (We're Going on a Bear Hunt, among others) and Quentin Blake (everything, it seems, but specifically the collected works of Roald Dahl) for many reasons. As Shel Silverstein pointed out to us some 30 years ago or more, kids like silly but smart poems. They don't just like them, they love them as the constant sales of his books, mostly to return customers (people who read his work as children and are now buying it for their own children) prove. But sometimes Silverstein, great as he is, is just a bit over the heads of younger readers. What about them? They need silliness in their lives, too! And, Bananas in My Ears: A Collection of Nonsense Stories, Poems, Riddles and Rhymes, filled with short stories, poems and rhymes, is just the thing to pick up at bedtime or in the morning after breakfast, in a waiting room or right before nap time, to read from. Rosen's poems (which do not rhyme, no big deal) and stories are so short, sweet and silly that it's easy to agree to just one more...












The book is divided into four parts: Hard-boiled Legs / The Breakfast Book, Smelly Jelly Smelly Fish / The Seaside Book, Spollyollydiddlytiddlyitis / The Doctor Book, Under the Bed / The Bedtime Book.  Each section has a "What if," one of which can be seen below, although they are all a bit different, and a "Things We Say" section, which is a two-page illustration of people and animals doing things with word bubbles that relate to the section. Hard-boiled Legs / The Breakfast Book contains these bubbles, "I hate burnt toast," "My hair's a mess," and "You're not leaving with food in your mouth!" There is also a "Nat and Anna" story in each section and these stories about siblings are more sweet than silly, truth be told.

That's the lovely thing about Bananas in My Ears: A Collection of Nonsense Stories, Poems, Riddles and Rhymes - it's very silly, but it is gentle and thoughtful at just the right times which ensures that there won't be (too much) giggling and antics at bedtime, depending on how you choose your readings...

Source: Review Copy


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