This book follows a parade for the International Banana Festival, a real event held in Fulton, Kentucky from 1963 to 1992. The story follows the different parade floats and other entries, saying, "But that wasn't the best part," at the end of each page. Then the final float arrives with a giant, wiggling bowl of banana pudding for everyone to share. My son loved the build up of anticipation for the 'best part' of the parade, and as a lover of dessert, he was delighted at the thought of a 'one-ton' bowl of pudding!
This ebook has easy page turn arrows at the bottom of every page and is nicely narrated. The addition of highlighting of text while read would have been nice, but otherwise it is a perfect book for kids to read by themselves or to enjoy narrated. This digital version adds nice sound effects that can be triggered by tapping on the floats and other parade entries. There are vehicle sounds, musical instruments and lots of people to tap to hear them say things to the crowd like, "Hello!" and "Hi, Mom!"
A copy of this book can be found online as an ebook at the website "Beantime Stories" along with many other free digital books and resources for parents & teachers. The digital version found online is not interactive with sound effects but has the entire book and looks nice on both an iPad or regular computer. This site has a mission to "To enable parents and teachers to help young children strengthen learning skills in unique and playful ways." [For a link to this website, see the bottom of the synopsis page.]
To add some historical context about this story, I discovered a FB fan page for the long gone festival. The "International Banana Festival" fan page tells us that, "Until the advent of mechanically refrigerated railroad cars Fulton, KY was a major distribution point for most of the bananas sold in the Eastern US. The bananas were loaded into 'ice reefers' belonging to the Fruit Growers Express Company in New Orleans and shipped northward until they reached Fulton, KY. At that point the cars needed to have a fresh supply of block ice to prevent spoilage. Fulton used to be known as the 'Banana Capital of the United States,' although the days of mile long FGE trains have long passed. For a few decades starting in 1963, the city held a 'Banana Festival' in mid-September. One of the major attractions was a one-ton banana pudding which the entire community shared at the local park."
I liked this digital book even more after getting such a great backstory about the parade. And it was fun to see pictures of the real "one-ton" bowl of banana pudding. Yum!
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
4 - 6 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 3 - 8
This story, based on the real International Banana Festival held in Fulton, Kentucky for several decades, follows all the typical entries in a community parade. First comes the police car to let everyone know the parade is coming. Then follows the parade, which includes: a military drill team, an old fire engine, a festival princess on a float, a marching band, a fancy car with 'important people', giant balloons, people wearing funny banana-themed hats, a little train full of kids, a latin band, crazy clowns, people dressed like giant fruit, and then, the "best part" - a one-ton bowl of banana pudding for the parade goers to share!