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MONKEY & ROBOT by Peter Catalonotto


by Peter Catalonotto & illustrated by Peter Catalonotto

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: Jan. 29th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4424-2978-9
Publisher: Richard Jackson/Atheneum

A really odd couple of friends shares fun and adventure.

Monkey is clueless and innocent, while Robot is endlessly kind and patient. In four stand-alone chapters, sweet, funny vignettes depict a warm, accepting friendship that transcends differences. When they watch a monster movie, Robot suggests many diversions to ease Monkey’s terror, and his gentle reassurance turns the evening into a great success. A board game also causes some worries; Monkey is convinced to play just for the fun of it. Following a misconception about the singular form of the word “dice” and some antics when a dog runs off with it, the game ends in hilarity. In the final chapters, a cocoon and a game of hide-and-seek lead to more angst for Monkey and happy outcomes thanks to Robot. Catalanotto employs brief, action-filled sentences and clear, simple dialogue that is accessible to children newly comfortable with independent reading. It is formatted in large print with lots of white space and illustrated in black and white with graphite pencil and ink, complementing the text with strong visual clues and carefully conveying the characters’ emotions. An odd, unnecessary preface states that the friends met at work and depicts them floating in air in a space capsule, which is probably unrecognizable to the intended audience.

A fun-filled view of a warm, unlikely friendship. (Fiction. 5-8)