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Monty's Magnificent Mane Hardcover – February 24, 2015
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From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Monty is a slender, sinewy lion with a thick, red-gold mane. His meerkat friends like to play with it, tugging and tickling him until he "rumbles, grumbles, and rolls." Unfortunately his mane gets dirty and matted, and the efforts of the meerkats to restore its former splendor with braids and feathers only irritate Monty. He storms off to look at his reflection in the water hole and is lured closer by a crocodile's honeyed words. Monty barely escapes the fearsome jaws that bite a hunk out of his mane. Running for home, he realizes too late that he has led the crocodile straight to his little friends. "Even though the meerkats mess up Monty's mane sometimes, he can't let the crocodile eat them!" In a magnificent vertical spread the lion roars. The terrified croc flees, and Monty's friends are saved. O'Neill's mixed-media artwork uses bits of maps on the lion's paws, the crocodile's scales, and the birds' wings. The jungle itself is minimally evoked by green scribbles and leaf fragments, while the brown water where the crocodile lurks is strewn with bones and fish skeletons. Innovative artwork and flowing, sometimes alliterative text make this an unusually appealing story of courage and friendship.—Mary Jean Smith, formerly at Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN
Little ones will enjoy the animated scenes, the threatening but ineffectual crocodile, and a vertical two-page spread that deliciously illustrates the lion's mighty, capitalized "ROARS!" The colorful illustrations are enhanced by tiny scraps of newsprint and maps. The tried-and-true fable about curbing vanity and appreciating friends enjoys a fresh touch with these ebullient African animals.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Innovative artwork and flowing, sometimes alliterative text make this an unusually appealing story of courage and friendship.
—School Library Journal
"Monty's Magnificent Mane" is a true teaching tale, told in fantastically expressive pictures that young children will adore.
—Midwest Book Review
Children and adults will delight in this fanciful book; Monty is truly magnificent!
—School Library Connection
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