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Reviews from 4—7 years

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By Nicola Bevan — Author and former teacher

The Kate Greenaway shortlist is often threaded with unexpected themes, and this year’s selection is no exception

Banana cover

Banana! by Ed Vere (Puffin, ISBN 9780141500591)

Our youngest readers need bold beginnings, and Ed Vere’s Banana! simply explodes with colour and vitality. One happy monkey, in blue stripes, is about to enjoy a delicious banana. No wonder his red-striped companion feels forlorn, envious and horribly ANGRY. Children will smile when the second monkey remembers The Magic Word – then gasp as he swipes the whole banana for himself. But don’t despair. This hilarious tale is pure joy from start to friendly finish. And although the text could scarcely be more economical, Ed Vere’s expressive pictures (those frantic fingers, those goggly eyes) really are worth a hundred words.

Monkey and Me cover

Monkey and Me by Emily Gravett (Macmillan Children’s Books, ISBN 9780230015838)

Children love the cheerful heartbeat of rhythm and rhyme, and in Monkey and Me Emily Gravett captivates her readers with clap-along choruses and guessing-game actions. What will the little girl and her toy monkey see at the zoo? When they waddle, will it be penguins? When they bounce, could it be kangaroos? And what sort of animal is round the corner when our two friends dangle upside down?

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