Monkey See, Look at Me!

Lorena Siminovich. Dial, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8037-3737-2
A childlike, suspenders-wearing monkey likes attention, and he likes to get it by pretending that he is different animals: he “flies” like a bird, jumps up and down like a rabbit, makes loud noises like a lion, and splashes in a puddle like an elephant. His friends, who actually are the animals he pretends to be, take turns showing the monkey what it really means to fly, hop, roar, or “make the biggest splash of all.” That’s okay, because when they pretend to be monkeys on the playground, he can trot out his own natural gifts for swinging and hanging upside down (“I’m the silly monkey, can’t you see?”). Siminovich’s story is the soul of simplicity, with naïf digital collages set against sunny, softly textured backgrounds (the aesthetic is in line with that of her finger-puppet board books, though she imbues these animals with more personality). Similarly, her message is proffered lightly: one-upmanship can be good-natured fun, so long as everybody gets a chance to be the one who’s up. Ages 3–5. Agent: Adriana Dominguez, Full Circle Literary. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/14/2012
Release date: 07/05/2012
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