Reviews for Monkey and Me


Booklist Reviews 2008 February #1
A little girl and her stuffed animal, a monkey, cavort as she imagines and imitates a series of wild animals. The girl's actions as she pretends to be each new beast can give rise to a guessing game for children, resolved when a turn of the page shows the actual animal mimicked: "Monkey and me, /  Monkey and me, / Monkey and me, / We went to see, / We went to see some . . . /  ELEPHANTS!" The rhythmic, patterned text reads aloud exceptionally well, though the story's ending is a bit of a letdown. Still, the spare, expressive pencil drawings are charming, and the restrained use of watercolor washes heightens their effectiveness. This upbeat picture book has great read-aloud potential for responsive listening and extended play in storytimes. Copyright 2008 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2008 Fall
Gravett (Orange Pear Apple Bear, rev. 7/07; Wolves) creates a whole world here with just two characters -- a little girl and her stuffed monkey -- and not since Oxenbury's Tom and Pippo have a child and a toy seemed so in sync. The repeated refrain -- "Monkey and me / Monkey and me / Monkey and me / We went to see / We went to see some..." -- will be both an anchor for the young reader or listener and a tantalizing invitation to What Comes Next. Monkey and girl are a moving riddle as readers try to figure out which animal they are imitating before a page turn reveals the answer. Here is the girl, with monkey tucked inside her shirt, bouncing like a kangaroo, waddling like a penguin, swinging her arm ˆ la an elephant's trunk, and hanging upside-down like a bat. After so much action, it's no wonder they are too exhausted to finish their snack, as the final double-page spread provides a soothing and satisfying ending with, nevertheless, a bit of a twist (could the animals in the girl's imaginative play be real?). The open, all-white-space background sets off the high energy of the heroine and her faithful friend, who are depicted in soft browns, grays, and reds. >From the pencil-sketched illustrations of the girl struggling with her tights on the opening endpapers to the animals parading off the final ones, Monkey and Me has all the earmarks of a classic. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2008 #3
Gravett (Orange Pear Apple Bear, rev. 7/07; Wolves) creates a whole world here with just two characters -- a little girl and her stuffed monkey -- and not since Oxenbury's Tom and Pippo have a child and a toy seemed so in sync. The repeated refrain -- "Monkey and me / Monkey and me / Monkey and me / We went to see / We went to see some..." -- will be both an anchor for the young reader or listener and a tantalizing invitation to What Comes Next. Monkey and girl are a moving riddle as readers try to figure out which animal they are imitating before a page turn reveals the answer. Here is the girl, with monkey tucked inside her shirt, bouncing like a kangaroo, waddling like a penguin, swinging her arm ˆ la an elephant's trunk, and hanging upside-down like a bat. After so much action, it's no wonder they are too exhausted to finish their snack, as the final double-page spread provides a soothing and satisfying ending with, nevertheless, a bit of a twist (could the animals in the girl's imaginative play be real?). The open, all-white-space background sets off the high energy of the heroine and her faithful friend, who are depicted in soft browns, grays, and reds. >From the pencil-sketched illustrations of the girl struggling with her tights on the opening endpapers to the animals parading off the final ones, Monkey and Me has all the earmarks of a classic. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2008 February #1
"Monkey and me, / Monkey and me, / Monkey and me, / We went to see, / We went to see some . . . / PENGUINS!" An ebullient little girl plays with her toy monkey, imagining visits to penguins, kangaroos and monkeys, of course, among others in this joyous tribute to the preschooler's imagination. The bouncy text never varies, except for the payoff line, which is set up by a spread of the two friends' playing at animal imitations. Gravett's smudgy pencil-and-watercolor vignettes feature a ponytailed little girl in a skirt and Velcro sneakers, her rumpled red tights and red-and-white striped shirt (which flops down, revealing her belly button as she hangs upside-down like a bat) the only bright spots in otherwise gray-and-sepia sketches. The broadly smiling tot needs no more color, her complete absorption in her play rendered with happy abandon. These vignettes dance across the lead-in spread; turn the page, and "BATS!" flap, "ELEPHANTS!" clomp. Playfully set typography finishes off this fizzy offering, which is perfectly in tune with the way a child's imagination and a beloved toy are all the ingredients needed for happiness. (Picture book. 3-6) Copyright Kirkus 2008 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2008 January #1

With a lot of imagination and some creative contortions, a little girl pretends that she and her adored stuffed monkey fit right in with tribes of penguins, kangaroos, bats, elephants and... monkeys. A catchy refrain sets up each scenario: "Monkey and me,/ Monkey and me,/ Monkey and me,/ We went to see...." Readers can take a moment to guess which species the feisty pigtailed narrator, a Pippi Longstocking in the making, is miming before a turn of the page shows the relevant animals at their antic best. To evoke a mama kangaroo and her joey, for example, the girl stuffs Monkey under her shirt; to become an elephant, she bends at the waist, makes one of her arms a trunk and turns the other into a prehensile tail that pulls Monkey-as-calf behind her. Working in pencil and watercolor, with a palette limited to red, black and brown, Gravett (Orange Pear Apple Bear ) portrays the action in a series of exuberant spot sketches set against a white sweep. This approach not only gives the pictures the momentum and spontaneity of roughed-out animation, it also provides readers with step-by-step instruction for recreating at least some of the fun in their own homes. A final spread has girl and toy going "zzzzzzzz"--but the game has not ended: a real monkey watches them, a huge and contagious grin on his face. Ages 2-6. (Mar.)

[Page 52]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2008 April

PreS-Gr 1-- A delightful and energetic story, illustrated in muted reds, soft browns, and pale grays. A child, dressed in rumpled red tights, a gray skirt, and a red-and-white striped T-shirt, plays with her long-limbed stuffed monkey. The repetitive refrain, "Monkey and me,/Monkey and me,/Monkey and me,/We went to see,/We went to see some…" is accompanied by the little girl and her toy imitating five different animals that appear on the following spread. She waddles like a penguin, hops like a kangaroo, hangs upside down like a bat, lumbers along like an elephant, and swings like a monkey, before finally wearing down. The text's buoyancy and changes in font size enhance the visual appeal. Monkey's body language and facial expressions, reminiscent of Pippo in Helen Oxenbury's "Tom and Pippo" stories (S & S), add humor to the sweet tale of a ????child using her imagination in active play. This charming and engaging book will have children repeating the words and anticipating the animals to come. Perfect for one-on-one sharing or with storytime groups.--Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI

[Page 108]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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