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Naughty Little Monkeys Hardcover – August 25, 2003
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From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2-Aylesworth relates a tale of mischief told through the letters of the alphabet in four lines of rhymed verse. Twenty-six naughty little monkeys engage in wild antics when their human parents unwisely leave them alone one evening. Andy flies paper airplanes, Brooke jumps on the bed, and Carla eats chocolate cake. Their behavior grows steadily more boisterous as Xavier bangs his xylophone and Yates breaks a street lamp with his yo-yo. The parents arrive home in time to send the monkeys to bed and seemingly threaten to send them away. However, on the last page, the whole family is shown on an outing at the zoo. Many of the verses are fun and clever, but others read awkwardly. The exuberant illustrations override the flaws in the text. On full-page spreads of various rooms in the house, Cole vividly sets the stage for the expressively animated creatures to wreak havoc. While this is not a core title, such as Aylesworth's similarly mischievous Old Black Fly (Holt, 1995) or Eileen Christelow's Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed (Clarion, 1989), it will provide reading-aloud pleasure.
Rachel G. Payne, New York Public Library
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
PreS-Gr. 1. Humans Mom and Dad tuck their 26 little monkeys into bed and blithely step out for the evening. With one monkey for each letter of the alphabet, this book catalogs all the ways the "kids" find to make trouble. There's Andy making paper airplanes from ripped-out book pages, Brooke bonking her head, Carla gorging on chocolate cake, Danny swinging on the drape, etc. Scolded for their misdeeds, the next day the monkeys, demurely dressed in baby-blue sailor suits and pink dresses, are taken to visit the zoo. The idea of picturing the kids as monkeys and the parents as human is a bit bizarre, but children will probably accept it. Every child feels like a mischievous monkey from time to time, longing to break the rules with cheerful abandon. Cole imaginatively expresses that impulse in the large-scale, comical paintings, while Aylesworth's rhyming text bounces along merrily. A natural for reading aloud to the alphabet set. Carolyn Phelan
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