Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Bananas in my Ears: A Collection of Nonsense Stories, Poems, Riddles, and Rhymes

Rosen, Michael (Author)
Blake, Quentin (Illustrator)
Candlewick Press 2012. 79 pages
First published: 1986
ISBN: 9780763662486 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Dewey: 821
Book type: Anthology
Book genre: Poetry

Text Elements:

figurative language, recurring patterns, structures and features

Award

USBBY Outstanding International Books List – 2013

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Each of the four sections in this comical anthology has a catchy, whimsical title such as “Hard-boiled Legs,” “Smelly Jelly Smelly Fish” and “Spollyollydiddlytiddlyitis” and focuses on the themes of breakfast, the seaside, going to the doctor and bedtime. Read about all the silly antics around the house, such as a boy who comes to breakfast with bananas stuck in his ears; weird possibilities at the beach, “children-sized ice-cream cones;” a bed that grows wings; and an entire closet full of patients at the doctor’s office.

Each section is set up in a similar way and includes a “What If” poem, a “Nat and Anna” story about a pair of siblings, a silly story, a more serious poem and more. Quirky, cartoonish illustrations in ink and watercolour pepper the collection, which also includes some serious poems rich in imagery, rhythm and alliteration (e.g. “see the sea wash/ the soft sand slip/see the sea slip/the soft sand slide”).

What else to do but read it aloud—and savour it.

  •  

    Choose a favourite poem, recite it to the class and explain why you like it.

  •  

    Choose a poem to read with a friend, taking turns with the lines. Add sound effects and/or instruments. Record it as a podcast.

  •  

    Add on to one of the poems. For example, add on to “Breakfast Time.”

  •  

    Read the Contents page. What are the themes in the book? What sections are the same in each chapter? What are nonsense stories? Riddles?

  •  

    Recite “Over my Toes” and “After Dark.” Pay attention to the alliteration (repetition of a sound in a text) in the first poem.

  •  

    Practise the expressions in “Things We Say” using situations in the classroom. Make a class list of some of these expressions.

  •  

    Write your own “what if . . .” poem, using the pictures on the inside cover of the book to inspire you.

  • To communicate appropriately
  • To use creativity