This preachy, pedestrian cautionary tale isn't going to convince many children to change their ways. Simia, a young monkey, wants everything. But the flower she grabs on a tree branch turns out to be attached to a thorny cactus, a beautiful orange object is a snarling jaguar, a zigzag shape is a snake that "uncoiled itself and shot into the air" (say what?), a "coconut" turns out to be a wasp's nest, and so on. Later, Simia picks a flower that wilts, snatches a pretty stone from playmates and throws it into the lake, then almost falls out of a tree reaching for the moon. Mother monkey hammers the lesson home: " ‘Some things are for yourself, some things are for others, and some things . . . are for everyone to share. You don't have to own things to enjoy them.' " Instantly, Simia is satisfied. Right. Walters (Are You There, Baby Bear?
, 1999) sets her little monkey into a series of lush, if static, forest scenes. An also-ran next to such similarly themed books as Marcia Brown's How, Hippo
(1969) and Kate Banks's Baboon
(1997). (Picture book. 6-8)Read full book review >