Project Description


Beautiful Bananas

by Elizabeth Laird
illustrated by Liz Pichon

A young girl’s ordinary journey through the jungle turns into an amusing adventure, thanks to a few surprising encounters along the way.

Beatrice sets out through the lush African jungle to visit her beloved granddad. She carries with her a bunch of beautiful bananas as a special gift for him. But her journey is interrupted as she encounters friendly but mischievous animals, including a giraffe, a parrot, monkeys…even a swarm of bees. When she loses the bananas, every animal tries to replace them with something special, but each gift gets lost in turn. Finally a friendly elephant reaches high into the trees. Will Granddad get his beautiful bananas after all?

Laird’s clever, circular folktale is complemented by illustrator Liz Pichon’s bright, bold images of the African jungle and the colorful and exotic animals that live there.

Format: Hardcover
Price: $15.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-305-4
Publication Date: 1/1/2004
Page Count: 32
Size: 9-5/8 ̎ x 9-5/8 ̎
Age Range: 4 – 8
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Price: $7.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-691-8
Publication Date: 3/1/2013
Page Count: 32
Size: 9-5/8 ̎ x 9-5/8 ̎
Age Range: 4 – 8
Language: English
AR Level: 2.0
GRL: H, Gr 1
Lexile: AD470L
Themes: Cause and Effect, Circular Tale, Negotiation
BISAC 1: JUV019000 JUVENILE FICTION / Humorous Stories
BISAC 2: JUV002000 JUVENILE FICTION / Animals / General
BISAC 3: JUV014000 JUVENILE FICTION / Girls & Women


“This gentle tale will delight young readers (and listeners).” Kirkus Reviews

“The cheerful, bold artwork complements the mood and setting of the story. The straightforward, repetitive plot is fast paced and will encourage children to anticipate the next calamity, and guess what the new item will be. With bright, eye-catching artwork and a simple text, this story makes a good read-aloud.” School Library Journal

“Pichon’s pictures teem with energy, whether emanating from the comically expressive heroine or the boisterous but eager-to-please animals. The benevolently exotic setting glows with lemon yellow light and lime-green foliage, and readers will enjoy spotting, on each spread, the pair of eyes shining out between the jungle leaves.” Publishers Weekly

“This easy-to-read (and learn) folktale will be a hit with young audiences for its direct action and elegantly circular structure.” Booklist

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“Illustrator Liz Pichon brings Laird’s funny and fantastic story to life in just the right way. Beatrice is vivacious and bubbly, whether she’s being frightened by a lion or sneezed on by an elephant. And the colorful spreads provide plenty of fun details, especially the last one that features each of the animals Beatrice encounters. This is a simply delightful tale and a great way to introduce young children to folklore.” Sprout’s Bookshelf

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Meet the Author

Elizabeth Laird is a specialist in African folklore and an award-winning author who has been shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal and has won the Smarties Young Judges prize. She lives in England. You can visit her website here.

Meet the Illustrator

Liz Pichon is the author and illustrator of numerous books, including Beautiful Bananas, Square Eyed Pat, My Big Brother Boris, The Very Ugly Bug, Bored Bill, and A Tale of Two Kitties. She lives in England. You can visit her website here.