You Are 25% Banana
32pp., pbk., RRP $A14.99
With an intriguing title that is as eye-catching as the cover, this will capture the imagination of any casual browser, and once opened, so will the contents.
Using both bold fonts and illustrations, this is a fascinating early introduction to genetics that explains how humans are related to every other living thing on the planet, including bananas; that our closest relatives are chimpanzees with a 99% match; yet while our “recipe” is the same as 99.9% of everyone else on the planet now or ever, it is the 0.1% that makes us unique. Only identical twins have the same recipe!
One of the most common activities in early childhood classes is to graph hair and eye colour, or map heights and so this book goes a long way to helping children understand why they have the colouring or the build that they do. Learning this at an early age might help alleviate the body image issues that still plague our kids, particularly as they get older, helping them accept their red hair and freckles more readily and even celebrate their differences rather than their lack of conformity to some media-driven, arbitrary, preferred look.
For older students, it could help them understand the stupidity and futility of racism, particularly if they also watch the pioneering documentary Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes, Whether our beliefs about human development are based on Glasser’s Basic Needs theory, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs or any other theory, the need for love and belonging is common, and physical acceptance is high – so the more we can understand the importance and influence of our genetic makeup from an early age, the more likely we are to value ourselves and others. Therefore, this is an important book to start the conversation, even if we don’t like bananas!