Banana Tail and The Checkerboard Jungle Review
Comic veteran Mark McKenna delivers a fun children’s book about overcoming bullying, friendship, and of course, a Banana-tailed monkey.
Comic’s Veteran Mark McKenna is no stranger to the industry, as we learned last March when we got to speak with Mark about his upcoming Banana Tail picturebook. A long-time comic book veteran of 35 years, Mark has worked on over 600 different comics published in both Marvel and DC. But in the past few years, Mark has taken to crowdfunding his own Indie productions.
This newest release, aptly titled Banana Tail and the Checkerboard Jungle is the third book in Mark’s Banana Tail series. Artful stories about an adorable Banana-tailed monkey, his friends, and their adventures on Oops-N-Ouch island. In this little bananas bonanza, we get to hear the origin story of how Banana Tail met one of his best friends, the black-and-white plaid Zebra, Tic Tac. All in 33 wonderful pages, penciled in by Guardian’s of The Galaxy artist, Kevin West, and gloriously colored by artist Kate Finnegan.
Now, as someone who reads many children’s books (as I often read to my three-year-old nephew), I must admit The Checkerboard Jungle delivers eye candy on every page. It’s great for children, as it has plenty of pictures, scenescapes, and animals for them to check out, and in this one, also features a surprisingly large amount of action. Something which Mark’s art executes rather well on. Likewise, the book is also very colorful, with snapping attention to its jungle scenery, which makes it both vibrantly pop and stand out.
As a recounted adventure story, The Checkerboard Jungle sees Banana Tail enter some unfamiliar territory, as he consistently has to avoid two meanie jungle bullies, Snap the Alligator, and Snare the Snake. In the process, Banana Tail meets Tic Tac the Zebra, who aids him on his quest to find a way to return back to his home to the Monkeekee tree. All while meeting a series of different animals along the way. It’s an easy read for children of all ages and a fun story about friendship, with a nice little payoff towards the end.
You can purchase a copy of Banana Tail here.