Books

Will Keeno’s monkey business get him in trouble?
It usually does!

The Adventures of Keeno & Ernest

These heartwarming stories tell the tales of two best friends navigating the adventures of life in the jungle. Keeno, a mischievous monkey, seems to always go against the advise of his best friend, a wise young elephant, Ernest, only to find himself in trouble. Follow the adventures as Keeno ends up in great danger and relies on Ernest to rescue him. In the end, Keeno learns some very valuable life lessons.

The Adventures of Keeno and Ernest - The Banana Tree Children's Book

In The Banana Tree, Keeno spots a big, shiny banana tree, but it is far away—all the way on the other side of the river of their jungle home—and his parents have told him never to cross the river without an adult. Ernest reminds him of this, but Keeno decides to cross anyway. When he finds himself in great danger, he must rely on his friend Ernest to rescue him! In the end, Keeno learns two very valuable lessons about friendship and following family rules.

Enjoy a reading of The Banana Tree now

Enjoy the adventures!

In The Diamond Mine, Keeno wants to give his mom a beautiful diamond from the diamond mine and plans to swap it out for the river rock he has found.  Ernest explains that this would be stealing, but Keeno decides it’s just a trade.  Follow the adventure as Keeno finds himself in great danger and relies on Ernest to rescue him…again!  In the end, Keeno learns two very valuable lessons about friendship and asking before taking.

In A New Friend, Keeno attempts to answer the question: Can monkey’s fly?  He is determined to try when he meets a new friend. One day, Keeno meets a fancy new friend who has him making all kinds of changes.  Will this new acquaintance win him over?  Will his tried and true friendship with Ernest be tested?  Follow the adventures as Keeno finds himself lost, scared and soaking wet!  In the end, Keeno learns two very valuable lessons about friendship and being himself.

Make your stories come alive!

Make stories come to life with character puppets!  Hand crafted by Barbara Harrold, these puppets will expand your child’s imagination  and create even more adventure.

Published by Pear Tree Publishing and printed by Ingram Spark.

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Reviews & Awards

Thank you to all who have read The Adventures of Keeno and Ernest ~ “The Banana Tree,” “The Diamond” and “A New Friend” and a special thanks to those who have taken the time to write reviews and share their thoughts on the books.

All 3 books in The Adventures of Keeno and Ernest series have been named a Mom’s Choice Awards® Silver Recipient in family-friendly media, products and services!
Story Monsters Approved
Story Monsters Approved!
Check out all of the fun “thank you” cards Maggie received after visiting a preschool in This is what it’s all about!  
Maggie is the winner of the 2014 and 2015 “50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading”
The Banana Tree has been award the “This Book Rocks! StoryTime Jam” award for best picture book from StoryTime by Design.

What People Are Saying

“‘The Adventures of Keeno & Ernest, The Banana Tree’, is a delightful story of two friends who have an adventure in the jungle to find perfect bananas. Keeno and Ernest are relatable characters to children of all ages as they demonstrate kindness and true friendship. The story is entertaining with vivid illustrations that pull the reader right into the pages of the book. Author Maggie Van Galen chooses wonderful vocabulary to depict the characters experiences and give readers exposure to authentic words. My children love to read this book over and over and talk about what kind of adventures may come next for the lovable elephant and monkey. This book is a must in every children’s library!”
~Kate Donlin, Literacy Coach
Perley Elementary School, Georgetown, MA

“Hi! We are here in Joe’s 3rd grade class. We loved your story. We liked the illustrations. They went with the storyline.We liked the word choice. We liked Keeno. Keeno was cute and Ernest was smart. Ernest was a nice friend. We hope to read your second book soon.”
~Mrs. Gibson’s 3rd grade class, Spofford Pond School in Boxford, MA

“A lovely story of adventure and friendship and the illustrations make this book come alive! Each of the characters has their own personality and the bright colors jump off the page. It is so refreshing to see hand created art instead of computer generated designs. This is a wonderful addition to any family library!”
~Amazon review by Emaliza

“What a great book for children and adults. A traditional morality tale brought into the 21st century with delightful illustrations and non-preachy story telling. A book that will be read over and over and passed down to next generations. I am getting more for friends!”
~Amazon review by Mary B. Smith

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