This playful, gentle romp for the toddler set depicts a monkey encountering various animals and getting the last laugh.
“Look at me! / I can fly away fast. I’m a bird!” read the first two spreads, and softly colored digital-collage illustrations show the imaginative monkey running down a hillside with his arms outspread. The next page-turn, however, shows a little red bird alighting on his head and saying, “No, silly monkey. I’m a bird. I can flap my wings.” This establishes the pattern for the rest of the book, as the monkey encounters a rabbit, a lion and an elephant who all assert themselves over his playful efforts to jump and hop, roar and splash, respectively. The animals all end up together for the denouement as they swing and climb on playground equipment, declaring, “Look at us…We’re monkeys.” Then, the true monkey responds, “No, friends, you’re not monkeys. / Look at me! I’m the silly monkey, can’t you see?” The closing illustration shows the monkey gazing out at readers, casting them as the “you” of this final line. Never mean-spirited, the animals’ exchanges leading up to this final point of engagement invite young children to anticipate the text’s pattern while enjoying the friendly illustrations.
A sweet new title about friends and imaginative play. (Picture book. 1-3)