Read Aloud Thursday: Monkeys

Monkey See, Monkey Draw

As I’ve mentioned here once or twice, my four year old loves monkeys. They have recently been replaced as his very favorite animal by birds, but they still run a close second. So we read a lot of monkey books. Suffice to say that I know the entire Curious George oevre extremely well.

This monkey book by Alex Beard was new for us. It features a set of mischievous monkeys who like to play lots of crazy games but avoid a scary cave near their jungle home. One day when playing with an elephant, their ball rolls into the cave. When they venture into the cave they discover that the walls are covered with cave paintings. The elephant shows them that all the paintings are made by some animal’s handprint or footprint and the monkeys are inspired to make their own cave art.

I liked the concept of this book and the quirky artwork. I felt thought that the message was a little heavy-handed. WE CAN ALL BE CREATIVE! YOU TOO! I would have preferred a similar message but with a lighter touch.

I’m not particularly crafty but this book is a perfect jumping off point for a craft activity. It practically begs you to do your own handprint paintings after reading it, especially after you realize that the monkeys themselves are all made from the author-illustrator’s thumbprint. We didn’t do any painting yet, but might in the next day or so.

Gorilla! Gorilla!
Yes, I know that gorillas aren’t really monkeys (and so does David) but we like the entire primate family around here.  This endearing and funny book by Jeanne Willis is one I’ve read to both John and David multiple times. We all enjoy it.

A mother mouse is looking for her lost baby when suddenly she is startled by a gorilla that is chasing her. She runs around the world trying to escape the gorilla. The text has just the right amount of repetition for a preschooler.  The end comes with a funny and sweet twist. The pictures of the gorilla may seem frightening to small children, but  it ends ok. My own kids who are relatively sensitive to scary things have never had a problem with this one.

Some other monkey favorites of ours:

Counting Crocodiles by Judy Sierra
So Say the Little Monkeys by Nancy Van Laan
Five Little Monkeys by Eileen Christelow
Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
and of course….George

Head over to Hope the Word for more Read Aloud Thursday fun!

7 thoughts on “Read Aloud Thursday: Monkeys

  1. I’ve seen that first one in the new books cart at the library (and I might’ve even checked it out before), but we haven’t read it. Something about the artwork (and now that I know about it, the message) seems a little too contrived for my taste. I can see how it would encourage creativity, though. The second one looks and sounds terrific!

    • Contrived is the perfect word. Exactly what I was thinking.

      We did try some animal handprints today. It was fun, although David and Ruth mostly just wanted to do their own thing, which is ok too.

  2. Hmm… The flying monkeys in The Wizard off Oz are scary, but the perfect blend of your son’s two favorite animals.

    I’ve always found George a bit tedious, but these others look like fun, even if the first is a little heavy-handed.

    • HA! I never thought of that with the flying monkeys.

      I admit to being happy that David has mostly moved beyond George at this point. But there was a time where we went through every George book in the library multiple times.

    • Thanks for the recommendation! Those look like they would be right up his alley and a good transition to longer chapter books.

  3. Pingback: RAT Links 8.4.11 | Hope Is the Word

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