Books by Benjamin James Watson

THE BOY WHO WENT APE by Richard Jesse Watson
Released: Nov. 1, 2008

Richard Watson applies a twist to the prince-and-pauper theme. The two protagonists—a boy and a chimpanzee—don't so much look alike as act alike: troublesome. On a field trip to the zoo, young Benjamin is monkeying around by the chimp cage when suddenly one of the inmates is out and Benjamin is in (minus his cap, coat and backpack, which the chimp has appropriated). The class moves on to other destinations (library, grocery store, bank) with the chimp behaving much as Benjamin would have—badly—and thus not raising any eyebrows, while back at the zoo Benjamin makes himself at home. Unfortunately, the author doesn't do anything sly or funny with this promising material; the story doesn't resolve so much as run out of gas. Benjamin Watson, the author's father, does a clever job with the artwork, keeping the tale slightly off-balance, with a touch of spooky wildness that hints at something more than just monkey business in the chimp's crazy eyes and gleaming choppers. Too bad it's got nowhere really to go. (Picture book. 4-8)Read full book review >