OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Barb the Banana

Using Fruits and Vegetables as characters I hope to teach kids about the values of diversity and individuality.

Photo of Tara Nasse

Written by

Barb was a green Banana.

The other bananas were yellow.

Barb wished she was a yellow banana too.

The other bananas played together.

But Barb walked home alone feeling sad.

She turned right, then turned left

She walked up, then walked down

She twisted, then turned…

Until Barb didn’t know where she was.

Beep beep! Honk honk! Cars were zooming along the street.

It was a busy place. The buildings were tall. The people were… colorful!

Purple, pink, yellow, orange, brown…

“Ehem! Excuse me” said a voice.

Barb turned around but could not see anyone.

“Down here!”

Barb looked down and saw a small green ball.

“YOU’RE GREEN TOO!” cried Barb.

“Yes, of course! I’m Spencer the Sprout!”

“Hi! I’m Barb the Banana”

“Aren’t Bananas yellow?”

“Yes…” Barb sighed.

“Well, you must be very special!”


“Yes, it’s good to be different” replied Spencer.

This made Barb smile.

Spencer was nice, maybe he could help Barb.

 “Where am I?” she asked.

“You’re in Roots and Fruits Ville” replied Spencer, “A place where different fruits and vegetables live together”

Barb liked it here because everyone looked different.

“Nice to meet you Barb the Banana” said Spencer.

And off he whizzed down the street to catch the bus.

Barb liked Spencer the Sprout and he was green too.

Fruits and vegetables come in all colors, shapes and sizes.

Barb went home to play with the other bananas.

Barb liked being a green banana and they liked her too.

Describe the intended vision for your early childhood book manuscript in 1-2 sentences

Barb shows someone who is not comfortable in their own skin. Meeting Spencer the sprout helps her realize that being different is okay giving her the self confidence to be herself. My hope is that children who live in a diverse setting can relate to this story and start their own journey to build their own self confidence and become upstanding individuals.

Share your suggested book title

Barb the Banana

How have you crafted this manuscript to resonate with and/or reflect the experiences of those living in urban contexts? (optional question)

Our story of Barb the Banana provides a way for a child to connect to a character that does not feel that they belong for being different but in fact, the city is a place for anyone who are all unique. This story shows the beauty in the melting pot and fusion of cultures with many individuals.

Location: Country


Location: State or Department


Location: City

Any large city, eg. Philadelphia

Tell us more about you / your team

My name is Tara Nasse and I wrote this story with my partner Steven Bourque. We are both enthusiastic about child development and we are also both teachers. I am from London and he is from California, we met in Thailand 3 years ago and have since embarked on many adventures. I have been a child carer full time, reading children's books everyday, which was inspiring to me to write this book. Barb the Banana is one book out of a series called Roots and Fruits Ville, following the stories of many different Fruit and Vegetable characters. I have grown up in the South of London my whole life, living in a working class area and living through the challenges but also beauty the city brings. I am forever grateful of the many cultures and people I have had the pleasure of knowing from my home town. The aim of this book is to show children the beauty of the different people in cities. The theme of fruits and vegetables will also encourage a positive relationship with healthy foods.

Provide an example visual identity for a look and feel you might like to achieve. ( (optional question, 3-5 visuals)


Multiple Choice - Have you been previously published (online, self-published, and print included)?

  • No

Do you have an agent?

  • No

How did you hear about the Challenge? (optional question)

  • Someone in my network (word of mouth)

What best describes you? (optional question)

  • I am/we are creatives, writers, or artists

Attachments (1)


Join the conversation:

Photo of Perlina Murray

Good effoet. It however, has to be less telling and more conversational and you can use rhyme or song.

Photo of Tara Nasse

Thank you for your comment, I think that 0-3 is an age of story telling and this is a challenge to find a way to approach difficult topics whilst continuing to entertain.

Photo of Perlina Murray

This is where crestivity and imagination steps in.

View all comments