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Friday 1 December 2017

Book Review: The Blessed Bananas

Title: The Blessed Bananas
Author: Tayyaba Syed
Illustrator: Melani Putri
Publisher: Prolance
Recommended for: 3-5 year olds

Everyone in the village knows not to come near the cranky, old monkey Rico or his precious bananas.
However, after some unwanted encounters, Rico learns a life-changing lesson. Find out how in this heart-warming tale of friendship, kindness and the power of prayer.

Rico is a cantankerous miserly old monkey who won't share his bananas or his tree. He reminds me a lot of Scrouge, hoarding everything away. He is so unkind that even the villagers keep away. I think there's a parallel here between Scrouge and children when they don't want to share their toys.

What happened to Rico will surely get children to think about being thankful for what they have and being kind to others. It's a good lesson for children to learn to be kind and share what they have. So it's a good place to start a discussion on these topics with children.
The other lesson from this book is the practice of making dua to Allah and sending salam to our Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. The animals that Rico encounter through the story all make dua to Allah, even Rico at the very end had to make dua asking Allah for help.

There are so many lessons children can take from this book. It depends on where you want children to focus on. The beauty of books is that you could read them many times and each time you can highlight a different area for discussion.

Finally, for those who really love their bananas, there are four banana recipes in the back of this book. It's handy for an extended lesson on the topic of bananas. Banana and date smoothie is an easy one to try with children.

From a personal point of view, I really enjoyed this book. I like reading fables and folk tales and I have to say that this one is high on my list of recommendations.

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