Thursday, April 19, 2012


9780761158448BANANAGRAMS! For Kids
Published at Workman

About the book

Kids love Bananagrams—so what better treat for kids who love puzzles and wordplay than a smart, just-for-them collection: Bananagrams! for Kids.
Puzzability, the premier puzzle-writing company who wrote The Brainiest Insaniest Ultimate Puzzle Book! and whose mind-benders have appeared in Disney Adventures, Nickelodeon magazine, The New Yorker, and The New York Times, creates original and unexpected word puzzles that capture the quick-on-your-feet spirit of Bananagrams. There are over a dozen of banana-themed varieties, including Bunched Up (a mini-crossword), Monkey in the Middle (building a larger word out of two smaller words, with clues), Banana Pancakes (a stack of anagrams using letters in common), and Going Bananas (complete a sentence with two different words made from the same letters).
What's invisible to kids is that behind the silly names and clever formats, these games have a strong educational side—they strengthen vocabulary, reward agile thinking, and reinforce the idea that using your brain is fun. The puzzles are rated in difficulty from one to four bananas, and an answer key is included.

My Thoughts

I wasn’t too sure how my two oldest would welcome this book of word games.  One thing I knew though, this book was perfect to expand their vocabulary.    Knowing that they are at different levels, I asked Dominic, grade 2, to do the one and two bananas level of difficulty while his older brother, Alexandre, grade 5, would do the three and four bananas level of difficulty.IMG_3305

IMG_3293Numerous word games can be found in the BANANAGRAMS for Kids;

  • Banana Chips: In this game the child has to transform a three-letters word into three four-letters words by adding one letter found at the bottom of the puzzle.
  • Monkey in the Middle: For each puzzle, you get two clues which you have to resolve in order to find the hidden third word.   Three puzzles in the page have something in common.  Can you find what it is?
  • Sliced Bananas: Keep the set of tiles together, you have to place them in a specific order to create some words based on a theme.
  • Monkey Around: Complete the words using the letters provided. 
  • Banana Tree: Using the letters at the bottom of the page, the child has to complete the words to discover the word that needs to be found.
  • Monkey Business: For each sentence, the child has to fill a set of blanks with a different word using the same letters.
  • Banana Peels: Find the words with the help of the clues.  The child has to use the letters exposed in the page.
  • Banana Turnovers: Using the letters offered, the child has to find two words.
  • Banana Pancakes: Using some letters mentioned at the top of the page, the child has to complete the four-letter words.
  • Banana Splits: This is a two step game.  First you have to use all the letters to spell two words that answer the clues.  Then you use all the letters to find a word that answer a clue.
  • Bunched Up: Using the tiles given, complete the mini-crossword.
  • Banana Bunch: Using all the letters at the bottom of the page, fill the grid to complete the word puzzle.
  • Monkey bars: This puzzle has two parts.   First rearrange each set of three tiles to spell a three-letter word.   Then connect one word from the left column to one word in the right column to get a six-letter word.
  • Banana Crunch: using the tiles given, complete the mini-crossword puzzle.   Clues are provided.
  • Banana Filling: Choose four letters from the tiles to complete the pair of words at the top.  Then use the remaining letters to complete the second pair of words.

I think the boys are having fun with it.  Though Dominic will do one page at a time, Alexandre could do two or more.     The games will alternate as you progress in the book and the answers are located at the end of it.   Also throughout the book, you will find some FACT or FICTION? statements and you have to determine if this is true (FACT) or false (FICTION).  Here’s an example:


The banana split was invented in 1904 by 23-year-old David Evans Strickler, an employee at the Tassel Pharmacy soda fountain in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.

As you can see these tidbits of information are educative as well.   So not only your child will expand its vocabulary but they will learn interesting facts about bananas.   

And once Dominic had done a couple of pages, he had a funny idea and asked me to take this picture to show he’s going bananas about this word game book. Yeah!  That’s him all right holding all the bananas we had just bought.   *sigh*


This book is definitively a great way to stretch your brain cells and learn while having fun!

In case you are wondering, the statement above is a fact.

Bananagrams! For Kids is available at your favorite bookstore, even

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book for review purposes from Thomas Allen. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

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