Bananas and Bling. It’s Time to Sing!

Season’s greetings,  Summer Reading Clubbers,

Or as Benny Banana Peel would say, ‘Jingle bells, bananas smell …’

Regardless of what you’re celebrating this time of year, we all need to eat.

Food plays a big role in my books. Pies, bananas, hot chips, dog biscuits, seafood stew, carrots and corn all feature in my Scallywags books. And that’s not to mention candy! How many different foods can you spot in the following book trailer?

Benny Banana Peel, AKA the Sea Shanty Gangster Rapper, loves nothing more than to sing about food. It’s a great way for me to include some toe-tapping rhymes in my novels. Benny likes to combine jolly pirate sea shanties with ultra-hip gangster rapping. The result is one of the most unique musical styles you are ever likely to hear.

To replicate Benny’s Sea Shanty Gangster style you’ll need a drum (or an overturned bin), a large floor space to do some jolly toe-tapping, a pirate fiddle (if you have one) and plenty of over-the-top hand gestures.

I thought we could practice with one of my favourite rhymes. From Scallywags and the Candy Catastrophe, here is Benny with his super-scrumptious song about Volcanic Candy:

Here is this week’s writing tip:

Creating a catchy poem or song requires more than just a good rhyming word at the end of each line. It requires rhythm. Pay close attention to the number of syllables in each line. Structure your verses so that the beat falls on the right syllables. And then practice it aloud – over and over!

  • Curious Creature Profile: Benny Banana Peel
  • Animal: Chimpanzee.
  • Future Pirate Crew: Chimp-at-Sea.
  • Strengths: Clever with words. Great climber.
  • Weaknesses: Cheeky. Lazy. Daydreams about being a gangster.
  • Likes: Gold bling, bananas, rapping about everything.
  • Distinguishing features: Wears gold chains and a gold banana around his neck. Dresses in a yellow tracksuit.
  • Favourite saying: ‘Bruised bananas!’

Have fun drawing Benny.

Enjoy your Christmas holiday,

 

32 responses

    Hi Lana,
    My blog competitions have the same closing date of 31 Jan as the other competitions. A lot of kids and teens won’t register with the Summer Reading Club until after Christmas, so it gives everyone a chance to enter.
    Dr Cameron

    Hi Lana,
    Here is something Benny says regarding rhymes:

    The first and second line,
    of any gangster rhyme,
    must have a beat
    to be complete,
    or else it’s mashed banana!

    Dr Cameron

    Dear Dr Cameron,
    That poem is so cool l with the syllables. What is y your trick? How do you wu write one of those poems? Benny is a pretty cool character I found him quite challenging to draw aw but in the end my drawing looks okay I suppose. How many books are in the School Of Scallyways series? Are you planning on writing any more? Who is you favourite character in the series and why?
    Sorry about all they questions.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
    Sahansa

    Hi Sahansa,
    The key to my rhymes is lots of editing, rewriting and using a program to find rhyming words when I get stuck. Check it out: rhymezone.com It’s free and easy to use.
    I’m planning on at least 8 books in the Scallywags series. Well done for attempting the drawing. As I mentioned previously, it takes a few goes to perfect things.
    Instead of having one favourite character, I like the banter that is created between several characters. Different personalities react in different in certain situations and this is fun to explore in stories.
    Dr Cameron

    Dear Dr Cameron,
    I have just started reading the Scalllywags series and it is really good. How many books are there in the series at the moment? It is pretty exciting that there are going to be 8 books in the series. Do you draw your own illustrations? They are really good. I agree it is pretty hard to choose a favourite character as there are so many great characters.
    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
    Sahansa

    Hi Sahansa,
    Yes, Merry Christmas to you, too.
    There are currently two Scallywags books available. The next is due for a April release and the fourth will be out in August.
    Yes, I draw all the pictures. Most of the character take between 2 hours and 4 hours to complete. All are pencil on paper.
    Dr Cameron

    Dear Dr Cameron,
    You are a great illustrator, , you’re drawing info are amazing. It is pretty exciting that the next books in the Scallywaggs series are coming out soon. Which one has been your favourite to write / illustrate? Is it stressful as a writer to have an expected by date or month for a book?
    I hope you had a great Christmas
    Sahansa

    Hi Sahansa,
    My favourite book to write and illustrate would have to be Scallywags and the Hungry Hairy Sea Monster. The whole mystery of the monster combined with a school talent quest was fun to create.
    To answer your other question, it can be stressful having to meet publishing deadlines.Once a book release date has been set, there is not going back! I don’t wait until the last minute to finish things to minimise the stress. Writing a book is like a marathon, not a sprint …
    Dr Cameron.

    Hey Dr Cameron,
    I love writing poems. There are haiku poems, shape poems, limericks and others. My favourite are the limericks. Heres one.
    There was a woman called Rose.
    Who wanted to have a doze.
    She tried counting sheep,
    And soon fell asleep,
    And when she woke up she rose.
    (From her bed). I’m also planning on being a poet when I grow up.

    Hi Abby,
    I don’t think I’ve used a limerick in one of my stories. I should probably give it a go. I usually work with rhyming couplets to create longer poems.
    Maybe Rose could have a problem with her toes, or even her nose … who knows?
    Dr Cameron

    Dear Cameron
    After I watched your trailer, I saw your characters in the order you were showing them! I can now predict which character we will draw next – the rabbit!
    Lana Goodall

    Woohoo! Platy the platypus has FINALLY uploaded to the gallery! Please check him out! Look for a cute platypus soft toy with a dark brown body with light brown feet. He has these irresistible large black eyes and the caption will have my name on it (of course)!

    Hi Dr Cameron! Nice to Meet you! I am Pushkar. This is My first time blogging here! But I really Like the rhyme! It is really catchy and Happy New Year!

    Pushkar

    Hi Pushkar,
    Thanks for posting your first comment. I’m glad you like the rhyme. There are plenty more where that came from. Some are clever, some are just silly!
    Happy New Year to you, too.
    Dr Cameron

    Hi Dr Cameron This is my first time blogging and I like your song it is wonderful.I think you know how to register to summer reading login so if you know can you tell how to do it .Thank you Happy new year

    Hi Dr Cameron This is my first time blogging and I like your song it is wonderful.I think you know how to register to summer reading login so if you know can you tell how to do it .Thank you Happy new year can you also tell me all about summer reading and how to win

    Hi Dr Cameron This is my first time blogging and I like your song it is wonderful.I think you know how to register to summer reading login so if you know can you tell how to do it .Thank you Happy new year can you also tell me all about summer reading and how to win

    Hi Madhumlta,
    Thanks for getting involved. I have a few competitions throughout my blogs. There is one on the latest blog posted today, 13 Jan. To enter simple post a comment at the bottom. Besides that, try to read as many great books as you can before the end of the school holidays.
    Dr Cameron

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