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TWO LITTLE MONKEYS by Mem Fox Kirkus Star


by Mem Fox & illustrated by Jill Barton

Age Range: 1 - 4

Pub Date: May 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4169-8687-4
Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Irresistible rhythm, adorable monkeys and pitch-perfect rhyme make this a must-have for the preschool set.

“Two little monkeys / playing near a tree, / one named Cheeky, / one named Chee.” With the familiar rhythm of a nursery-school finger game, the text draws children into this story of two little monkeys and their escapades on the plains. Playing among the high grasses and dirt, Cheeky and Chee are frightened by something prowling and take refuge in a nearby tree. Strong verbs like scramble, tremble, peep and leap are easy to decode and understand, allowing young readers to enjoy the pictures or act out the story along with these brave little monkeys. Barton’s soft watercolors, in purple, gray and tan, are both captivating and comforting—never will readers actually fear for Cheeky and Chee’s safety. Hidden in the landscape are hints of the action to come: a tail in the grass or leopard spots in the brush. Gently paced visual and textual narratives (especially when the little monkeys are falling from a tree or running from the predator) make the book ideal for frequent rereading. The easy rhythm and rhyme will allow lap listeners to chant along while they memorize this one.

Look for little humans to add this to their play repertoire. (Picture book. 1-4)