Banana Drama, Mane Mania

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Betty Goes Bananas

Steve Antony
Oxford University Press
Betty’s grin is irresistible; in fact Betty herself is, despite her tantrums. Tantrums she seems to throw at the drop of a hat – or rather a banana; for it’s a banana that is the cause of all the bother. No matter how hard she tries hungry Betty just cannot open her banana.

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(It must be one of the same young finger-defying variety supplied to infant schools). So what does she do? Cries, sniffles, kicks and screams

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and finally, calms down, Along comes Mr Toucan offering to help but our determined miss is having none of it: off she goes again. WAAAAH! SNIFF! SNIFF! BANG! BANG! AAAAAAAAAAAA! …
wise words from Mr Toucan … Betty bites but the banana breaks …

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here we go again, repeat performance … More timely words from long-suffering Mr T. … Betty eats YUM! Mr T. departs … but what’s that on the ground there …

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Brilliantly simple, simply brilliant. Steve Antony’s second picture book is even better than his debut performance and that was a hard act to follow.

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Monty’s Magnificent Mane

Gemma O’Neill
Templar Publishing pbk
King of the jungle, Monty’s mane is his pride and joy. His friends the meerkats admire its glowing magnificence and flatter him about it, which pleases Monty so he allows them to play therein. Not for long though; their tugging and tickling become annoying and Monty shakes them off, taking a tumble in so doing and messing up his mane. The meerkats’ attempts to restore it to magnificence are not to Monty’s liking

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so off he stomps to check out his reflection in the waterhole heedless of a small meerkat’s warning. Now Monty’s just loves flattery and so when he hears words like “wonderful mane” coming from the green, cheeky eyed creature in the water, he’s only to happy to go nearer so he can show it off at close range… SNAP!

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Oops! One croc’s mouth stuffed with mane: one fleeing lion hotly pursued by said croc. hungry for dinner.
That croc. is still hot on his heels when he gets home, so it’s time for Monty to make an difficult decision –which is more important – the lives of his meerkat friends or an always perfect mane?
 Brilliant colours , and somewhat Scarfe-like, exaggerated images of Monty and croc. make for dramatic effect in Gemma O’Neill’s wonderfully textured mixed media illustrations.
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