Fredrik Goes Bananas, by Melissa Firth

Fredrik Lotsie lived on Snowsmoke Island, where everyone loved fish.
Fish for breakfast, fish for lunch and fish for dinner.
Big fish, small fish, silver fish and smooth fish.

Fredrik Goes Bananas is set in a snowy icy north, where the daily occupation is breaking through the ice to catch food for the day. Fredrik Lotsie has eaten fish every meal of his life, as has every member of his family, and everyone in his village. When Fredrik decides he’s had enough fish, the villagers are sure he’s ‘gone bananas’. As Fredrick thinks through his options, his behaviour further convinces his neighbours that he’s ‘bananas’. His wife, Mrs Lotsie who makes fish-scale ballgowns, is inconsolable, even when villagers bring her bowls of steaming fish stew. As the days go by, Fredrik is still not eating fish but his plans for an alternative seem destined to fail. He feels increasingly alone and begins to doubt himself.

Fredrik Goes Bananas is an almost-square format hardback. A jubilant Fredrick on the front cover suggests either Fredrik finds a solution to his dilemma or he’s decided that going bananas IS the solution! Cheryl Orsini has used a mainly blue palette for her illustrations, and included plenty of white space which add to the feeling of a cold climate. The air may be cold but until Fredrik’s fall from grace, this was a close community. Everyone in town is unsettled by Fredrik wanting something different. There are themes here about conformity and the consequences of wanting more. Colour floods the page where Fredrik triumphs and pervades the following openings, ending the villagers’ unease and his isolation. Recommended for 4-6 year olds.

Fredrik Goes Bananas!

Fredrik Goes Bananas! Melissa Firth ill Cheryl Orsini
Scholastic 2009
ISBN: 9781741691139

This book can be purchased online from Fishpond