Monday, March 16, 2009

Monkey Monkey Monkey by Cathy MacLennan

Monkey Monkey Monkey by Cathy MacLennan
Copyright 2009
Sterling Books - Children (Age 4-8)
32 pages
Sterling Books website
Author's website

This is such a cute book that I wish I could just hold it up and show off the entire thing to all you book gobblers, but I can't . . . so I photographed a few page spreads. And, guess what's going blooey on Blogger, today? Sigh. Can't upload. I did manage to get one photo loaded before things went haywire, so hang in there and I'll share that one with you in a minute.

When Monkey Monkey Monkey arrived, I sat down and read this story about a hungry little monkey in search of "monkey, monkey, monkey nuts". I was surprised that it was a little less rhythmic than expected. Instead, one must use some expression, since rhythm is a lesser object. Of course, children love a little bit of drama thrown into the reading of a book and it's easy to fall into a boring rhythm so I found the writing a pleasant surprise, not to mention the illustrations -- which we'll talk about in a minute.

I was unable to get in touch with the preschool coordinator I'd hoped to talk to about reading (they're always looking for volunteer readers), so . . .

I read to the cat.

And, I must say she was quite a decent listener. I'd rather see how small children react to the pictures and words, so I'm going to continue to attempt to round up some little ones. In the meantime, I can tell you that I was totally blown away by the illustrations in Monkey Monkey Monkey. The words can be a little bit tongue-twisting, at times, but once I was accustomed to the story, it became a bit easier to read aloud and even a bit lyrical.

As it turns out, you can go to the illustrations section at the author's website and, under "Jungle Fun", click on any of the illustrations to view larger images of her artwork. I think you'll find her illustrations absolutely stunning. This is a big, beautiful book at about 11" x 10", so a circle of children should be able to easily see the book from a distance. If you're a teacher seeking lovely, fun, happy-themed books to read to a classroom, this book is perfect. I particularly loved the ending, when the little monkey's father sweeps him up and takes him home. There, both parents give him a cuddle and then he finds a wonderful pile of nuts to fill his aching tummy. It's a sweet story for little ones. I highly recommend this to both parents and teachers.

Next up will be a review of Otto Grows Down. And, I need to update that sidebar, yet again. This weekend was a great reading weekend and I've begun to read several more books. So far, March is turning out to be a spectacularly fun reading month.


  1. Oh my...I want this one for myself! The cover alone is enough to sell me! But of course, it is wonderful to hear that it's a fun read as well. :)

  2. Love that you are reading to the cat. That is great!

  3. Debi,

    It was the cover that grabbed me, too. The author paints murals and she does a lot of children's bedrooms. Wouldn't you love to have her monkeys climbing around on your kids' walls?


    The cat is stunningly tolerant of me. :)

  4. My sister yells at me for buying my niece and nephew so many books -- but I'm really buying them for myself! This one is going on the list!

  5. It looks like such a cute book.

    I'll have to try reading to Hez although I'm afraid she'll just walk out of the room.

  6. Gwendolyn,

    Exactly. If you buy books for them, you have a built-in excuse to look at the pictures and read. I love children's books. They're such a joy. :)


    It's very cute. Miss Spooky is a tremendously relaxed feline, especially considering the fact that she was named for her tendency to spook easily. I knew she'd sit still while I read to her, even though I kept saying, "Monkey, monkey, monkey nuts!" with such enthusiasm.

  7. Looks like Miss Spooky is really into the book. Not sure how Maggie would react to that--I bet she would push back her ears (a true sign that she's annoyed with me). But give up cuddle time to get away from my chattering? Probably not. Too bad no real kiddos--looks like a really cute book.

  8. I teach kindergarten and this sounds great!
    I won a copy of Otto Grows Down. My class loves it. (They beg me to read it every day!) We made a cute class book based on it. You're gonna love it too!

  9. Trish,

    Miss Spooky is a surprisingly good listener, although she's just a little bit ADD. I think she may possibly be the most easy-going cat on earth. I think I may pass Monkey X 3 on to my sister-in-law, since she has two little ones. Regardless, I'll find someone who is around little kids. It wouldn't be right to hold onto this book. It needs a bouncy little audience.


    I've read Otto Grows Down, already, and I love it. It's funny and has such a nice tender theme, don't you think? I'm going to read it, again, so it'll be fresh in my mind before I review but I'm thrilled to know your class enjoyed it since I don't have a group to read to, yet. :)

  10. How cute is your cat?!

  11. Jessica,

    Well, I think she's adorable. Miss Spooky thanks you. :)

  12. Great review. Your cat must be pretty smart - when I read to our dog, it usually puts her to sleep.

  13. Kathy,

    Well, I think she's brilliant but I suppose I'm a little biased. :)

  14. This looks like such a fun book! I wish my four-year-old would let me read books to him that are not about trucks or Thomas the Tank Engine. The only other books he'll sit through are the "No, David" books.

  15. Alyce,

    My eldest was one of those little boys who loved cars, trains, planes, trucks, etc. They do go through some annoying phases, sometimes. We read just about everything you can think of, though. You might try buying a little stack of books for a rainy day and telling your son that they can't be touched till it rains. I bought soooo many books that I did that all the time and it generates a good bit of excitement.


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