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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Bananas In My Ears, written by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Quentin Blake. Candlewick Press, Random House. 2012. $19.00 ages 3 and up

"What if
they made children-sized diggers
and you could take them down
to the beach
to dig really big holes
and great big sand castles
that the waves couldn't knock

Poetry is definitely in the ears of the beholder! If your ears are sharp, you will find much to love in this new book, subtitled A Collection of Nonsense Stories, Poems, Riddles & Rhymes. Add to the fact that your ears will get a great workout listening to all the fun written here, your eyes will also find much to feast upon!

There are four sections shown in the Contents...The Breakfast Book, The Seaside Book, The Doctor Book, and the Bedtime Book. As the family arises and prepares for the day, breakfast is the first order. As they go about dealing with the things that happen in a family so early in the morning, we are also encouraged a to think on a 'what if...' Those thoughts have a place in each of the sections and are sure to get eager listeners thinking, and imagining. Also there for our entertainment are the quaint and quirky things that we say in a variety of situations. Or, this joke that is sure to set little ones to giggling:

"So his brother said it again.
"You've got bananas stuck in your ears." And the
little boy said, "What?" So the brother shouted
really loudly at him, "YOU'VE GOT BANANAS
STUCK IN YOUR EARS!" And the little boy
shouted back, "I'M SORRY, I CAN'T HEAR

Hilarious! I can hear little ones off to share the story with anyone who will listen!

Moving on to the seaside, we enjoy more of the same:

"There's a boy over there,
and he's sitting on the rocks,
eating apple crumble,
washing dirty socks."

In The Doctor's Office my favorite part is "Things We Say":

Son to mother: "Mom, I suddenly feel all right again."
Doctor looking at a little girl covered in multi-color polka dots: "Now what seems to be the trouble?"
Little boy counting chicken pox while he waits: "997...998...999..."

Nat and Anna have a related story in each section, siblings who drive each other crazy while loving each other enormously:

"Their Dad heard them and
he shouted up to them,
"Stop the noise! Stop the noise!
If you don't stop the noise, I'm
coming upstairs and I'll give
you some real trouble."

Everything went quiet.

A few minutes later one of the
children called out,
"Dad, Dad, when you come up to give
us some real trouble, can you bring
us up a drink of water as well?"

Been there. We called it bedtime.

Now, add the delicious artwork of Quentin Blake and you have a recipe for fun and enjoyment for days and weeks to come. He peoples the pages with his trademark images of family as they move through their days encountering familiar situations, and laces his artwork with humor and charm.

Once again, don't forget to go to to see whose video is shared today.

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