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.
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:
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