Cover of The City of Banana Fritters

Title : The City of Banana Fritters

Author : Arleen Amidjaja

Illustrator : Ria Octavia

Publisher : Gemar Pustaka Capricorn

Year of Publishing : 2012

Age Suggestion : 5+

Type : Picture book



It’s Indonesia’s children books! This one is bilingual, teaching Indonesian kids to speak English. Lately, in Indonesia, this kind of book is getting more popular.

So, you can infer from the title, this book is about banana fritters. I don’t know in the other countries, but banana fritters is really famous here. We call them “Pisang Goreng.” Really yummy, I ensure you! It’s easy to make too, you just have to make a simple batter from water, flour, and sugar, to coat the banana. What am I blabbering about, actually? 😀

In his hometown, Ben was famous for his banana fritters. It’s a family recipe Ben was so proud of. But, Ben hadn’t satisfied, he wanted his banana fritters acknowledged in the other towns, too. Moreover, in the whole world! Then, he made a journey, opened the stall to sell his banana fritters in the other towns.

The inside page of The City of Banana Fritters
Ben is surprised that there was another person in another town who made the tastier banana fritter


But, to his surprise, every time he visited the town, he found someone who made banana fritters better than him. World sure is big, right? And, it made him more curious and went into the deeper journey of finding the best recipe of banana fritters.

Despite the long plot that Arleen Amidjaja gave, she still used the simple words, so this book is suitable for early fluent readers. The long story might be a little bit tiring, but if you are already getting used to a book with many words and sentences, I bet it’s too simple for you.

I’m honestly a little bit disappointed with this book. The fact that my son likes this book, of course make me give some credits for the author and the illustrator. The illustration is quite interesting too, with colorful and varied background.

But, the biggest mistake is the book’s layout. There are actually few words I really can’t read because the color of the typed words and the background is similar! Of course I can’t see it, right? Maybe, I can guess, but why? It’s supposed to be a storybook, not a puzzle book. And I think it’s bad for your eyes, too. What a mistake!

The narration is a little bit flat, to my taste. There’s no interesting surprise and cheerful, crazy words. I’m afraid it’s a bit dull. But, for you, Indonesian young readers who want to learn English, it’s pretty useful.

Just one question that struck me hard, why oh why, the character isn’t an Indonesian? Pity 🙁


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