In a world of perfectly delightful ecological balance, there’s a jungle where people and elephants and bananas co-exist. So postulates author Katy Koontz in her children’s picture book, The Banana Police. But of course, people being imperfect and all that, things don’t seem quite so wonderfully balanced to the residents of this utopia. Imagine sitting behind an elephant at the cinema and you’ll get the picture—quickly and smoothly described in the text and beautifully illustrated by Kelsey C. Roy. Bright colors entice young readers in. Clever details entertain while simultaneously teaching the powers of observation. And double-page spreads read left to right in pictures as well as words, giving the perfect introduction for listeners just learning how to read. The humor’s unforced, happy and entertaining. The story’s pleasingly predictable while filled with enjoyably unexpected details. Language is simply and clear, sentences nicely constructed with just the right amount of repetition and challenge, and the whole is a thoroughly enjoyable children’s book to be treasured and read over again.
Disclosure: I was given a free ecopy by the publisher.
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About the reviewer
Sheila Deeth (SheilaDeeth)
Sheila Deeth's first novel, Divide by Zero, has just been released in print and ebook formats. Find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, etc. Her spiritual speculative novellas can be found at … more
Katy Koontz wanted to write children’s books when she grew up. She took the long way around, spending the bulk of her career as a staff writer and editor and then a freelance journalist. Her articles have been published in magazines (including Reader’s Digest), in newspapers (like The New York Times), on websites (such as Expedia’s family travel website), and on cardboard (she wrote the Katyville Gazette by hand for her friend Mike on shirt cardboard from the cleaners when she was in elementary school). Katy is also the author of Family Fun in the Smokies: A Family-Friendly Guide to the Great Smoky Mountains (Great Smoky Mountains Association, 2012) and Smoky Mountain Travel Guide (a travel app for smartphones). The Banana Police is her first children’s book, written for her daughter Sam, who is pretty much all grown up now. Born in Philadelphia, Katy lived in Boston and New York City before moving to Knoxville, Tennessee, more than 20 years ago.