A Star Is Born! Second Banana by Keith Graves
THE AMAZING BUBBLES WAS THE STAR OF THE SHOW.
OOP WAS NOT.
Bubbles is the Monkey with the Mostest.
He has top billing on the circus billboards. Oop gets to paste them up when the circus comes to town.
Bubbles drives the racecar, tires squealing around the Big Top, as he takes the tight turns. Oop pumps air into the tires before the show.
Bubbles soars from the high dive and lands in the pool perfectly as the crowd roars. Oop fills the plastic pool from the hose before the show. The audience swoons as Bubbles performs on the piano. Oop holds the music. The audience goes absolutely ape when Bubbles is fired from the cannon. Oop lights the fuse.
But deep in Oop's lumpen soul there lives a diva who wants to dive, and drive, and soar through the air above an adoring crowd.
"YOU SILLY GORLLA! I AM THE TOP BANANA, NUMERO UNO BANANA.
YOU ARE SECOND BANANA--THE POOL FILLER-UPPER, TIRE PUMPER-UPPER, MUSIC HOLDER-UPPER, AND FUSE LIGHTER-UPPER.
Oop seems doomed to her destiny and goes about her lonely duties, assisted only by her friend, a loyal circus mouse.
But this Top Banana has feet of clay, and when Bubbles gets a boo-boo on histootsie, he can't perform, and Oop gets her big chance. The show must go on!
Does Oops rise to the occasion? Does she steal the show, outshining the arrogant Bubbles? Well, no.
Oop crashes the car, pops the pool, pulverizes the piano, and when she's fired from the cannon, tears a gorilla-sized hole through the side of the Big Top. OOPS! And the crowd loves her, laughing uncontrollably through the mayhem.
Keith Graves' comic-book-styled Second Banana (Roaring Brook Press, 2015) gives his slapstick heroine her moment in the limelight, Comedy trumps arrogance, Bubbles has to concede that his bumbling Second Banana brought the house down, and readers will revel as center of power shifts in this duo. "Hilarious!" says Booklist. "A delight" adds School Library Journal.