[alert variation=”alert-info”]Publisher: New Internationalist
Formats: Hardcover, Kindle
Purchase: Powell’s | Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble | iBooks[/alert]

Juliana’s Bananas: Where Do Your Bananas Come From? is an educational children’s book about the life cycle of the banana plant. Follow Juliana and her children Bertha and Billy who live on a small banana farm in the Windward Islands. The book goes through the typical lifecycle of the banana plant from planting to harvest, but also showcases some of the problems banana farmers may face: a hurricane that may ruin an entire crop, or diseases that can kill off individual plants. The book points out how important banana farming is to the community, and how important ethical farming (supporting small individual farms over company plantations) is to the local population.

Juliana’s Bananas shines as an educational book, particularly as a tool to introduce children to different cultures. The end of the book also includes two banana-based recipes. The almond and banana smoothie and the banana fritter recipe will almost certainly require adult supervision to attempt. The illustrations are functional, but not anything special, the majority appearing to be Photoshop collage cut and paste of stock photos. However, the illustrations do get the point across.

While some readers may find Juliana’s Bananas to be a bit of an obvious Fair trade advertisement, the book does a good job of introducing kids to where bananas come from, and what goes into getting them to their kitchen table.

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