Book Review: Betty Goes Bananas by Steve Antony

Betty Goes Bananas
Author: Steve Antony
Reading Level: Children's Fiction
Genre: Picture Book
Released: December 23, 2014
Review Source: Random House

Like Molly Bang's When Sophie Gets Angry—Really, Really Angry, this book offers families a perfect opportunity to openly discuss emotions and behavior. Meet Betty, a gorilla. She wants to eat a banana, but . . . try as she might, she can’t open it! Poor Betty—she just can't cope, and her frustration quickly becomes a great BIG tantrum. She cries and sniffles, kicks and screams. Luckily, Mr. Toucan is at hand to peel the banana and help Betty calm down. But what will happen when Betty spots another banana? Both preschoolers and parents will laugh out loud at this simple, utterly hilarious picture book about tantrums.

Every time I get a quick little picture book to read, I turn from being Deitre the book reviewer, to Deitre the mom, or Deitre the teacher suddenly imagining little eager eyes waiting for animated words to flow from my mouth.  Even if I'm reading out loud to myself.  Such was the case for Better goes Bananas by Steve Antony.  I allowed my youngest (soon to be middle schooler) to read it first to get his impression.  His response, it's great for a much younger reader.  So then it was my turn.  Yeah, it was more than great, it was awesome! 

Betty is a little gorilla, that has a major dilemma.  She wants to eat her banana, but can't seem to get pass opening the pealing and getting it out to enjoy.  Instead of asking for help she throws some very huge temper tantrums.  Ones that really just go overboard, over a banana.  She receives some help from the friendly Mr. Toucan and the rest is history.

By the time I finished this book, I had a  kid in mind that really needed to hear this one.  Needed to see how throwing tantrums looked, even if it was through the eyes of Betty the gorilla.  Although filled with humor there is a lesson to be learned.  The writing is perfect as well as the illustrations.  The storyline has a clear start to finish, which can be easily understood by any young reader or young listener.  Just know the experience of this book works best with your own personal animation. 

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