If I Was a Banana (Alexandra Tylee & Kieran Rynhart, Gecko Press)
Oh, how I wish to be ‘yellow and fat and full of banana’! At least, that’s how I feel after diving into the world of an inquisitive young boy in Alexandra Tylee’s, If I Was a Banana. Tylee’s unpredictable world opens with the small boy, obscured by shadows, imagining himself transformed into myriad odd objects and everyday items. The book jumps around nimbly and the boy’s dreams of floating like a ‘fluffy sort of cloud’ quickly turn to the odd notion of taking the place of a ‘perfectly shaped and worn’ spoon. It isn’t until the final pages that we are shown the boy’s face, as Tylee explores the overarching idea that while we must use our imaginations, it is of the utmost importance to feel comfort in our own skin—a pertinent message to share with young children. The boy’s quirky daydreams are accompanied by the richly simplistic illustrations of Kieran Rynhart, featuring a double-page spread of a lush tree that beckons the reader to sit against its monstrous trunk. The childlike tone of the narrator—paired with simplistic yet elegant prose—ensures this amusing and thoughtful picture book will appeal to children aged six years and up.
Sophie Teague is a Melbourne-based freelance writer