In this second installment in the world of Banana Fox, the titular character is stressed about late fees that he has on his overdue books from the local library. He has somehow managed to land himself in jail over it. However, luck must be on his side because it turns out kids can’t be sent to jail. He managed to sidestep that trouble, and gets out without having to do any time. His human friend Flashlight, as he calls her, who has a lot more critical thinking skills than the reactive and fast-to-act Banana Fox, is there to help him out of tough situations. When they aren’t bickering at each other and can actually manage to troubleshoot problems, they make an amazing team. In this adventure, they face a known enemy, and have to battle a giant book-eating robot. Can they save the library books before they are all eaten up?
Overall, this is a very fast read. It’s a thin book with not a lot of dialogue and an easy reading level given the recommended age range. The pictures appear to be quickly done and simple, so there are not a lot of details added to the backgrounds and settings of each panel. Banana Fox’s rubber nose adds a lot of fun to this character. Otherwise the characters, settings, and general feel of this comic are simplistic and it takes no time to get through.
Eisner Award-winning cartoonist James Kochalka gives readers a comic with an approachable page count and an easy-to-follow storyline. Reluctant readers would likely be drawn to the colorful cover and thin spine on this book. However, the story could be more captivating and it isn’t as funny as you would expect from work by this well known author. It didn’t grab my attention or have me flying through pages to see what happens next, but it did have a unique plot with lots of silliness. Additionally, the constant threat of being tossed in jail or library jail, and having to deal with library fines of over $3,000 as children seems a little too far fetched. This series would be fine to add to any elementary level children’s library collection, but it certainly isn’t an essential one to have.
Banana Fox, vol. 2: Banana Fox and the Book-Eating Robot
By James Kochalka
Scholastic Graphix, 2021
Publisher Age Rating: 7-10
NFNT Age Recommendation: Easy Readers (5-9)