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MONKEY AND ME by Emily Gravett Kirkus Star


by Emily Gravett, illustrated by Emily Gravett

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: March 4th, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-4169-5457-6
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

“Monkey and me, / Monkey and me, / Monkey and me, / We went to see, / We went to see some . . . / PENGUINS!” An ebullient little girl plays with her toy monkey, imagining visits to penguins, kangaroos and monkeys, of course, among others in this joyous tribute to the preschooler’s imagination. The bouncy text never varies, except for the payoff line, which is set up by a spread of the two friends’ playing at animal imitations. Gravett’s smudgy pencil-and-watercolor vignettes feature a ponytailed little girl in a skirt and Velcro sneakers, her rumpled red tights and red-and-white striped shirt (which flops down, revealing her belly button as she hangs upside-down like a bat) the only bright spots in otherwise gray-and-sepia sketches. The broadly smiling tot needs no more color, her complete absorption in her play rendered with happy abandon. These vignettes dance across the lead-in spread; turn the page, and “BATS!” flap, “ELEPHANTS!” clomp. Playfully set typography finishes off this fizzy offering, which is perfectly in tune with the way a child’s imagination and a beloved toy are all the ingredients needed for happiness. (Picture book. 3-6)