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MONKEY COLORS by Darrin Lunde Kirkus Star


by Darrin Lunde & illustrated by Patricia J. Wynne

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: July 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-57091-741-7
Publisher: Charlesbridge

“Monkeys come in many colors.”

Repeating this statement as a refrain, Lunde and Wynne describe 12 monkey species in simple sentences. The monkeys are grouped into three categories: four whose fur is a single all-over color (yellow, red, brown, orange); four who have colorful features or stripes; and four whose colors vary with sex or age or gender or who are truly multicolored. Each individual watercolor-and-ink illustration includes a tiny label; most also show a simplified version of the animal’s habitat. Sections begin with the refrain on a double-page spread. The first spread shows all 12 species; the second, the first four described; then eight, and finally all 12 in a museum diorama. These offer an identification game, an additional way for readers to engage with the material. The backmatter includes another picture of each species plus an interesting fact or two, as well as a world map showing where each can be found. A final author’s note on the copyright page reminds readers that the 12 would never be seen together in the wild, only in a natural history museum. The author and illustrator, who both work at such museums, have collaborated successfully before, most recently in Hello, Baby Beluga (2011).

Simple and effective, a charming early reader about variety in the natural world. (Informational picture book. 4-7)