The Story Behind “Go Bananas!” from Emily Cole

Books have always been important to me. My brothers and I would get to go to the library with our parents when we were little and I’d spend hours reading the books I’d checked out before going to get more. That continued into adulthood and my husband and our Bananas team are avid readers too. Our team does book reports together monthly, we have a book club where the team is actually paid for personal book reports, and Jesse and I can each finish multiple books in a week. We love reading.
When Jesse and I became parents, our world was opened to an entire genre we hadn’t noticed before. We are constantly drawn to books to read with our son and children in our care (we’re foster parents) that are more than silly cartoons. We seek out the books that can teach about important topics.
When Maverick was 1, I realized that the Bananas represent an important message that needed to be introduced to children. With bullying at an all-time high, having the courage to “stand out and be different” is hard for kids to wrap their minds around.
In 2017, Jesse wrote “Find Your Yellow Tux, How to be Successful by Standing Out. That book has helped business leaders and adults of all backgrounds around the world and I wanted to write a similar message in a format that children could understand.
This book is targeted for 4-8 year olds but it’s my hope that both younger and older siblings, cousins, neighbors, and friends of the new book owner will latch on to the message as well.
I wanted the book to be thin enough to be an easy choice to slip in a bag for sleepovers, car rides, or trips to the park and I requested from the illustrator to incorporate diversity amongst the characters.
If one kid reads this book and tells another kid to stop picking on someone, it will be a success.
If one kid reads this book and goes to sit with the new kid at lunch, it will be a success.
It would be an honor if you helped me share the idea with kiddos that being different is ok. In our life and with the Bananas, we like to celebrate differences.
-Emily Cole

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