F BANANAGRAMS - The phenomenon continues in these two great books! ~ Critique of the Unique

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

BANANAGRAMS - The phenomenon continues in these two great books!

Product: 10 Minute Bananagrams
Author:  Joe Edley
Created By: Abe and Rena Nathanson
Category: Books, Teens, Adults
Price: $8.95

If you love word games like Scrabble and Boggle, then you will absolutely love BANANAGRAMS!! The game was created by Abe Nathanson and his daughter Rena (as well as help from grandchildren Aaron and Ava) as they were spending time together during the summer of 2005 at a beach house in Narragansett, Rhode Island. Ever since they first designed the game, they have worked hard to grow the game and it is a game that is spreading like wildfire!! The original game comes in a banana-shaped bag and holds 144 letter tiles where the goal is create words in an exciting fast paced game of fun! Joe Edley, the author of this book and three time National Scrabble Champion, is an expert Bananagrammer. Here, he has created a book of Banana-Grams that are sure to challenge even the most skilled bananagrammer (such a fun word to say)! 

The puzzles are labeled by the difficulty level from a half a banana to a whole banana!! This assures that anyone can learn to become an expert bananagrammer in no time!! The puzzles are designed to be fast-solving and fun, and with over 500 games to choose from, it will keep you busy for hours! They include such games as:
  • Banana Peels (add letters to words, then anagram)
  • Banana Pudding (extend two letter words into six letter words)
  • Banana Bites
  • and many more!!!
There is an answer key at the back too, but NO CHEATING!!!! 

I like to do these puzzles during commercial breaks, or while the supper is finishing up. Makes for a great distraction to a busy and hectic schedule and allows some "time-out" for a little bit of fun and relaxation!!! 

And, if you have children, then you have to check out another book offered by Workman Publishing titled Banana-Grams for Kids!!! Read about it below!

Product: Banana-Grams for Kids - An Official Book
Created by: Puzzability
Category:  Books, Children
Age Range: 8-11 years of age
Price: $8.95

The same concept as above but made to be kid-friendly!! Created by Puzzability, the premier puzzle-writing company whose work has previously appeared in Disney Adventures and Nickelodeon magazines, BananaGrams for Kids has over 100 great games!! What is unique about these puzzles is that they offer educational fun that helps to strengthen vocabulary, reward agile thinking and reinforce the idea that using your brain is fun! And don't fret mom and dad...the kid version even includes an answer key, so if your child wants to check their work, they can or if they simply need a hint, you can help them out a little!! The games are varied in difficulty level as well, from one to four bananas and include such games as: 
  • 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)
  • Going Bananas (complete a sentence with two different words made from the same letters)
I plan on purchasing the game BananaGrams to accompany this book so that my kids can have the full experience and appreciate the book a little more. These puzzles are a great way to introduce word building skills to any child and it makes learning fun, as it should be!!! The recommended age range is 8-11 years of age, and I think this appropriate as it will take some general spelling ability to solve these puzzles.

Where to Buy: Both of the books featured here can be purchased directly from the publisher, Workman Publishing, or at various online/retail venues. 

This applies to both products reviewed here.


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