Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Jane Kurtz & Christopher Kurtz & illustrated by Lee Christiansen

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: April 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-06-029850-2
Publisher: Greenwillow

A baby monkey awakens on the African savanna, eager for a trip to the watering hole. But Mama makes him wait as they watch a parade of animals take turns drinking. His cautious mother must physically restrain him with a pull on the tail or a grab at his neck to keep him from being eaten or trampled by the other animals. Some awkward phrasing: “The silence pokes at Monkey’s ear,” is balanced by internal rhyme that works well for read-aloud: “Sun cartwheels slowly up the sky, herding hippopotami. The grasslands fill with birdcalls, wails, a loud buzz-buzzing of insects, a great swish-swishing of tails.” Soft-focus pastels convey the golden light and heat of the savanna. Close-ups of the creatures are sure to appeal to animal enthusiasts, although the monkeys, especially Mama, look depressed or angry. An author’s note explains watering-hole protocol and the signaling system of the vervet monkeys portrayed in the story. (Picture book. 4-8)