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Monkey Sunday: A Story from a Congolese Village Hardcover – April 20, 1998

3.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-3?A young Congolese girl promises her father to sit still while he preaches during their village Matondo, a celebration of thanksgiving. This is hard to do, because all the town's animals wander in and out of the open thatch shelter built especially for the service, and Luzolo loves playing with them. However, she behaves herself until a wild monkey disrupts things completely and her parents themselves beg her to stop sitting still and help catch him. The story, based on an incident in the author's life, gives a lovely depiction of this traditional festival. Everyone is having fun, interacting with one another, arms outstretched and feet dancing. The vibrant folklike illustrations are dominated by warm yellows, orange-reds, and brown and are alive with movement and color. Luzolo's exuberant fidgety personality is beautifully conveyed as is the sense of community, spirituality, and love among the village people. The text is a little wordy, but it definitely captures the spirit of life in this African village. A brief author's note more fully describes the customs of Matondo festivals.?Judith Constantinides, East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

An unusual tale with a small scope, strong on atmosphere, weak in its storytelling and in its illustration. A family in the Congo prepares for a Thanksgiving celebration. Luzolo, about six, is trying hard to be on her best behavior and sit still during the religious service where her father is the preacher, and where his mentor will be in attendance. She is irresistibly drawn to animals, and many wander into the open-air setting. Still, Luzolo resists the temptation to touch and play with them, even when her mother asks her to intervene when animals get into the food. It's not much of a story, and the illustrations do not intensify the drama; they are poorly drawn and composed, with skewed perspectives that are artless. (Picture book. 5-8) -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR); 1st edition (April 20, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374350183
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374350185
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 10.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,128,519 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Beautifully illustrated with a wonderful story! You can't help but fall in love with it. I cannot understand how Kirkus has managed yet once more to put down another exquisite book; they are so often wrong I can no longer trust their judgment at all. Sanna Stanley has written a lovely book for children.
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Format: Hardcover
Sanna's story of Luzolo fills one with the need to wiggle around and chase after all of the animals, yet also the tug to prove to her parents that she really can stay still as she promised. Matondo was alway a difficult time to stay sill in the seat as all the singing, dancing, clapping, and rejoicing went on around, especially with all the animals. Sanna's story telling and illustrations bring back wonderful memories of my childhood Matondos, of which I am now able to share with my own children in a very special way. Thanks Sanna.
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Format: Hardcover
The Kirkus reviewer, in my humble opinion, reflects an over educated mind, and one who has no appreciation for varying art styles. Though I have highly respected their reviews in the past, on this occasion, I must disagree. If you enjoy a simply, beautifully told story, with well-thought drawing that DO guide the story along, this book is for you and your children.
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