Clinging to her father’s back, Little Monkey travels safely across jungle treetops until one day she’s distracted and tumbles downward to the dark forest floor, where hungry predators lurk.
Rhythmic text describes how Little Monkey loves “to fly” from “vine to vine” and “branch to branch,” holding tightly to her Papa’s fur as he carries her “high and safe and quick in the bright, loud, green world.” When Papa warns Little Monkey to hide on a tree branch and stay still, she can’t resist reaching out for a butterfly and slips “down into a quiet dark.” Remembering Papa’s advice to hide, keep still, and hold tight, Little Monkey barely escapes a menacing ocelot by climbing up to a “coiled and curved” vine that turns out to be a sinister boa. Fortunately, Papa arrives in the nick of time. Bold pencil lines, atmospheric watercolor washes in bright greens, browns, and yellows, and double-page spreads of Little Monkey’s vertical descent and Papa’s horizontal flights perfectly convey the drama and energy of jungle life. Exaggerated close-ups of Little Monkey’s face capture her range of emotions, from exuberant joy as she rides on Papa’s back to paralyzing terror as she faces the unknown.
Exciting jungle high jinks starring one adorable little monkey and her protective Papa. (author’s note) (Picture book. 3-7)