Bob the Banana Goes Bad
Steve Petzinger, Selai Akbar-Hussain (Authors) Juan Diaz (Illustrator)
The Art of Children’s Picture Books
By Selai Akbar-Hussain, co-author
Children’s picture books have come a long way since Peter Rabbit, The Berenstain Bears and Dr. Seuss. Those are the books I remember from my childhood. I’m very fortunate to be a preschool teacher and to have read so many picture books over the last eight years of teaching. Not only do I get to acquire an extensive knowledge of what children respond to and like from firsthand experience, but I also get to enjoy reading the books as well.
As a teacher, a few different elements stand out to me as being important to making a successful children’s picture book:
1) Social/emotional development. My favorite genre of children’s books, this element focuses on concepts related to friendships, perseverance, making good choices, and character building. I think it’s wonderful to help instill values through storytelling.
2) Humor. I love hearing children’s laughter over the silliest of things.
3) Repetition and songs. Children have an amazing memory for songs.
4) Illustrations. Colorful detailed illustrations are a must. The pages shouldn’t be too busy. A clear message or story line is important, even if it doesn’t have many words. As a teacher I love picture books where I get to create the narrative and expand the story based on the illustrations.
5) Interactive books. Interactive books are great, too where the children get to engage during the reading process.
I’m constantly discovering new books that are not my go to’s and have been pleasantly surprised. There is so much variety in children’s books these days, and the quality seems to be getting better and better. While there is an art to writing children’s picture books, there are many different styles. Each one is unique and memorable in its own way.
Everyone has a purpose. That is the message of this unusual book. In the world of Mr. Abbott’s Refrigerator Mayor Bernie the Bagel gives a pep talk to the food, telling them to stay fresh, assuring them that someday they will be eaten. The problem is Bob the Banana has begun to go brown. In despair he disappears inspiring the food to go looking for him. Just when all hope seems lost. Mr. Abbott comes to the rescue and finds a way to use Bob in a recipe, allowing him to fulfill his purpose, giving hope to the rest of the food items.
Despite my deep seated abhorrence for anthropomorphic food, I found this book to be adorable. At first it may seem odd that food is waiting to be eaten, the truth is that is simply the reason for their being and everyone wants to do what they are best suited for. I think kids will find it just silly enough to enjoy time and again. With names like Patrick the Potato and Jerry the Jello, the alliteration alone should inspire hours of interactive food naming fun.
I am a big believer in the Plan B approach to life. That being if the plan you had at first doesn’t work out, the next plan will be a better fit. I enjoyed the encouragement the food offered to Bob. They explained that although he wouldn’t be enjoyed as a fresh banana, he could be used as an ingredient in pudding, bread, or some other dish, demonstrating that what was ahead of him could be as good or better than what he had originally thought it would be.
I love the art in this book. It is bright and vibrant with simple clean lines. All the food has big expressive features, making them quite charming.
I received an advance review copy through IRead Book Tours for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
Join us for this tour from June 14 to July 9, 2021!
Book Title: BOB THE BANANA GOES BAD by Steve Petzinger and Selai Akbar-Hussain
Category: Children’s Fiction (Ages 3-7), 38 pages
Genre: Children’s Picture Book
Publisher: Mascot Books
Release date: June, 2021
Content Rating: G for everyone.
In this heartwarming story, Bob the banana goes on an emotional journey as he worries about going bad before he can be of any use to Mr. Abbot. With the help of his friends, he learns to hold on to the hope that he will get picked by Mr. Abbott before it is too late. Through their combined support and perseverance of his refrigerated friends, Bob may be just the right item for Mr. Abbot someday.
Meet the Authors:
Steve Petzinger first created the concept for Bob the Banana when he was just twelve years old. His mother kept the original version, and over the years, his family urged him to publish it. In 2020, he decided to finally take their advice.
Petzinger sought help from his close friend, Selia Akbar-Hussain, who has been teaching preschool for eight years. She has read hundreds of children’s books and is knowledgeable about children’s books content. After months of hard work, their dreams of publishing a children’s book came true.
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