Posts tagged ‘monkeys’

STICKING TOGETHER

Raffie and Friends – The Lunch Box Mystery

Written by VaLerie Irene

Illustrated by Amy Rottinger

 

This book contains adorable illustrations and simple text with a message important for children to assimilate and practice into their everyday lives. Raffi is a giraffe who has a fetish for grilled cheese sandwiches. One day he finds that he has misplaced his lunch box. Raffi meets animal friends like Marlon the Monkey, Torrey the Turtle and Owie, the Owl. Each friend contributes by using individual talents, Marlon makes Raffi laugh, and Torrey has infinite patience. Owie uses his logic to solve the mystery.

Children learn that friends stick together to help each other, and that patience and thinking things through will provide the answers we are seeking. This book is recommended as a picture book for younger children and a beginning reader for older siblings.

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MONKEYING AROUND

The 3 Monkeys Christmas Treehouse (Monkey Tales Book 5)

Written by Rob “Nanook” Natiuk

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This is my first time reading a book in this series. Delightful story about three monkey siblings, Booey, Fooey and Hooey and their Jungle friends. The book is an interactive reading experience with ample opportunities for the reader to pause and allow the listeners to blurt out their responses by repeating, singing, or animating the sounds and actions of the characters in the stories.

In the first tale the three siblings receive a gift from their Grandpa Monk. At first they are puzzled by the red, white and green Christmas balls and stringed lights. Booey, the female, figures out they must be ornaments for a Christmas tree like the one she saw in the town. So they set off to find the perfect Christmas tree. Readers will meet some of their friends like the gorilla, crocodile and turtle. In the end, they find the perfect tree right under their noses. Tale two finds our friends looking over their Christmas list. As they travel to Coconut Town, they sing clever monkey songs adapted to familiar Christmas songs like “Jingle Bells,” and “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” They knock on doors of animal friends seeking to find the true meaning of Christmas. Finally, they discover that, “ A friend in need is a friend indeed.” In tale three, wise old Grandpa Monk tells his grandchildren the story of Santa Paws in the Jungle with his circus wagon pulled by eight zebras. Will the siblings find presents under the tree? The fourth tale speaks of the let down feeling many of us experience in the days after Christmas. Our friends have already tired of their presents; they ponder their New Year’s Resolutions. What do they share with their readers?

This book is perfect for elementary school children. Older siblings can read to younger brothers and sisters or the family can share the reading experience. Young children will love the repetition and songs. I will be reading other books in this series. Very entertaining, clever, and highly recommended.

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CYCLING THE GLOBE

Children’s Book: Abigail And The Jungle Adventure (Explore the World Collection)

Written by Tali Cami

Illustrated by Mindy Liang

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This is the first in a series of books featuring a little girl named Abigail. She is curious and adventurous. Abigail is spending Christmas at her grandparents’ house while her parents are on a business trip. Grandpa is a retired scientist and inventor who lives in a big, old house full of interesting places to explore. Abigail takes the opportunity to investigate the home while her grandparents are napping and finds many interesting objects in the attic. One of these is a shiny red bicycle covered with a blanket. Inside its basket, Abigail discovers a antique, dusty book containing pictures of different spots all over the world. On the last page she finds the instructions to think of a place and repeat this sentence three times: “Take me there, let me see, Show me where I want to be!”

What young explorer could resist the temptation? Abigail finds herself in the Amazon jungle where she will meet a Toucan, a jaguar, some squirrel monkeys, and a native boy named Nuka. Abigail is a generous young girl and she shares her magical bicycle with her new friend. What will happen next? Will Abigail stay in the jungle, explore a new site or return back to her grandparents?

This story is targeted for children aged two through six. The beautiful, bold and colorful illustrations will capture a young child’s imagination and interest. Vocabulary in the text contains enough of a challenge to extend a young child’s vocabulary when read aloud by a parent or caretaker. There is a bonus fun pack with activities offered to all readers. The elements of adventure, magic and repetition are combined and balanced nicely. Little ones will want to read it over and over and surely look forward to more books in the series.

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ONE SIMPLE WISH

Kanuki and the Wishing Tree

Written by Meredith Kennedy

Illustrated by Ali Masoud

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Meredith Kennedy is a veterinarian who lives in Tanzania. She is certainly familiar with the animals of the Serengeti. This tale is about a young giraffe named Kanuki who despairs because she has a short neck. She has tried  in vain to make it grow. One day she journeys through the forest asking all the animals that she meets to give her advice on how to make that happen. Alas, each of them tells her not to worry, and explain how their adaptation is more useful. For instance, the monkey tells Kanuki, “Tails are much better. You can swing and climb with a long tail like mine.” Kanuki tries to explain that being a giraffe, that is not what she needs. Finally, Kanuki meets an animal who is willing to help. I won’t give the answer away, but this animal leads her directly to a solitary tree atop a steep hill. Kanuki  learns only that this is a Wishing Tree. She must choose her own path. The only requirement is to believe in herself.

At first Kanuki remains frustrated, but then the giraffe makes her decision. What does Kanuki discover? Were the other animals in the forest correct? Will Kanuki ever find happiness and learn to fit into her own community?

The illustrations in this book are done by an art student. They are quite impressive. The black and white simple pencil drawings are unique and pleasing to the eye. The small banners of all the animals dispersed throughout the pages are effective as well. Kennedy’s story makes a nice read aloud for a younger child. This book also provides a good early reader chapter book. The simple moral lessons embedded in the story are worthwhile ones for the young reader. I would suggest this book as a nice, enjoyable addition to a parent, classroom or school library. This book is also distributed by Worldreader,  an organization that distributes free e books to deserving children, supplying another good reason to purchase it!

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BUS STOP STORIES

Just Monkeying Around: Best of Funny Things I Heard at the Bus Stop Series plus new story featuring Mopsy Monkey

By Angela Giroux

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Phew! That was quite a mouthful for a title. This book packs quite a punch. It includes several stories from Giroux’s bus stop series. It also features an introduction to the new series featuring the Mopsy Monkey character. On top of that, the author is offering a free copy of Goblins in the Garden if the purchaser signs up for her newsletter.

These stories are quite amusing for both children and adults. They are quirky, but definitely not slapstick funny. I can’t feature all of them so I decided to give an overview of three of them as well as introduce the Mopsy character.

In A Visit From Nonna Esmeralda, we meet twins Aidan and Hayden who are eagerly awaiting the arrival of their grandmother who lives in Italy and whom they have never met. Nonna has traveled the world and is certainly not your conventional grandmother. Aidan is sitting at the table eating breakfast when suddenly the bowl of cereal goes flying all over the place including the face of Nonna, who has just entered the room. The family watches as Nonna opens her suitcase full of presents. Hayden receives a Egyptian pyramid that contains a secret compartment for a mummy; this is really appropriate because he wants to be an archaeologist when he grows up. Aidan patiently waits his turn. He is sorely disappointed when he receives an old cracked bowl. But Nonna assures him that it has magic powers! He can use it to wish himself anywhere he wants to go. His first wish is to visit the mall. Will this really work? Is this how Nonna has been able to travel all over the world?

My Alien Friend features a boy named Ethan playing in his backyard with his alien space toys when an alien space ship lands. A Green boy who calls himself Gorp uses a green light to perform magic. He swirls all of Ethan’s toys off the shelf. They start playing among themselves. Gorp suggests that they play dress up, but all the clothes wind up lying in a heap on the floor. They proceed to the kitchen. I think you can imagine what happens next. Ethan’s mother has not yet met Gorp. He and Ethan have been having a great time, but will there be a price to pay? Will Gorp decide to stay on earth with his new found friend?

Bob is an average kid who loves playing with his friends. Perhaps he does enjoy eating sweets a bit too much. The Pimple is the title of his story. One day Bob notices a red patch on his cheek which is rapidly becoming a bump. He is not upset, but feels rather proud that he is growing up. He puts on his black pants and blue striped dress shirt. His mom ruins his mood when she covers the pimple with makeup because she mistakenly thinks that he is dressing up for picture day at school. When Anna, the girl he likes, stares at him he is elated.  Then he discovers that she is grossed out because the pimple has grown to the size of a marble with yellow pus oozing out of it! As the day goes on, things get progressively worse. There is a twist and a surprise ending.

At the end of the book, Giroux introduces us to Mopsy Monkey, her new character. She is a charming little girl monkey who sets forth on her first adventure. Her mother allows her to go alone to collect frazzle berries, but she must be careful. On the journey, Mopsy meets a frog and a crocodile. Her mother has warned her about trusting strangers; now she has to make a choice. Should she take a chance and trust these strangers? Will she succeed in proving herself to her mother or will she be a failure? Just the beginning of a new series of books.

These books will appeal to children of all ages. Parents of young children can select one or two stories to read aloud.  They make good early reading books for children ages six through eight. The topics and characters vary so they will appeal to both boys and girls. Take a look and see!

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