CM . . .
. Volume XXI Number 1. . . .September 5, 2014
100 Hungry Monkeys!
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2014.
24 pp., hardcover, $16.95.
Preschool-kindergarten / Ages 2-5.
Review by Gregory Bryan and Chasity Findlay.
Oh, no! 100 frightened monkeys are about to become lunch!
Run, monkeys, run!
1 clever monkey makes a rope bridge to cross the river.
99 brave monkeys hold on tight as the monster gets closer and closer!
100 Hungry Monkeys! is a vibrant, exciting picture book for young children. The book’s creator, Masayuki Sebe, is a Japanese author and illustrator known for his humorous and colourful work, including the books Let’s Count to 100! and 100 Animals on Parade.
100 Hungry Monkeys! was first published in Japan in 2013 under the title Osaru ga 100-piki. It is a fun search-and-find counting book that adults will enjoy reading with the young children in their lives. The playful, participatory nature of the book is conducive to the development of positive attitudes towards books and reading amongst the very young.
The book begins with 100 hungry monkeys desirous of a good feed. Shortly after they eventually find food and satisfy their hunger, the monkeys find themselves pursued by a hungry monster. As the monkeys attempt to escape the grasp of the monster, they discover that its intentions aren’t as malicious as they first thought.
Each double-page spread contains things to find and count. In addition to the primary text, smaller text is sprinkled within the illustrations. This smaller text provides such details as sound effects, directions for additional items to seek and find, questions, voice balloon dialogue, and extra (often humorous) story information. The final page of the book also contains further things for the reader to go back through the book to find.
Although there are 100 monkeys scattered across almost every double-page spread, each illustration is unique. The skilful use of colour and the different background settings lend each illustration its own individual appeal. The detailed illustrations will keep readers engaged as they follow the monkeys’ zany antics.
The high-octane illustrations are filled with colour and energy. It is a bright and engaging book with wide appeal. We believe this book is especially suited to young children eager for a positive and enjoyable experience with books. That said, however, as adults, we both found the book visually stimulating and highly entertaining.
Dr. Gregory Bryan is a member of the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba. He specialises in literature for children and literacy education.
Chasity Findlay is a high school English teacher and a graduate student at the University of Manitoba.
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