TEN NAUGHTY LITTLE MONKEYS

Williams tweaks the well-known story of ten little monkeys jumping on the bed in this enjoyable read-aloud. These monkeys don’t stop at jumping, but are injured one by one while running, skating, climbing, rolling, hiking, fishing, playing games and dressing up in costumes. Throughout, the first injured monkey, with her head wrapped in a bandage that she decorates with a flower, pops up in the illustrations. The rhymes are consistent and funny while subtly changing the usual refrain. Watts’s illustrations are saturated in deep color with round-faced monkeys and lots of wide-open mouths filling the pages with life. The monkeys’ mama and doctor are amusingly portrayed, especially as the doctor’s nerves become increasingly frayed. This winning combination of rhythmic text and child-friendly illustrations is rollicking fun. Preschoolers are sure to join in on this refreshing variation of an old favorite. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-06-059904-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2007

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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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TEN LITTLE FISH

This charming, colorful counting tale of ten little fish runs full-circle. Although the light verse opens and closes with ten fish swimming in a line, page-by-page the line grows shorter as the number of fish diminishes one-by-one. One fish dives down, one gets lost, one hides, and another takes a nap until a single fish remains. Then along comes another fish to form a couple and suddenly a new family of little fish emerges to begin all over. Slick, digitally-created images of brilliant marine flora and fauna give an illusion of underwater depth and silence enhancing the verse’s numerical and theatrical progression. The holistic story bubbles with life’s endless cycle. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-439-63569-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2004

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