cover image CHIMP AND ZEE


Catherine Anholt, , illus. by Catherine Anholt. . Penguin Putnam/Fogelman, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-2671-0

The creators of Sophie and the New Baby and Harry's Home offer a decidedly old-fashioned but surely toddler-pleasing tale with this oversize volume starring two mischievous monkey siblings. After their mother, Mumkey, discovers her little ones hiding in her banana basket, having devoured its contents, she takes them to town to shop for a new supply. Mumkey cautions them not to "monkey around" and the two respond with a chorus that echoes throughout the story: " 'Ha, ha, ha!' says Chimp. 'Hee, hee, hee!' says Zee." While their mother shops, the monkeys climb back into the banana basket, perched atop a large gray stone. The "stone" turns out to be an elephant, which transports the wee ones into "the deepest, darkest part of Jungletown." Predictably, fate intervenes: the elephant inadvertently drops the basket into the river and it "gently floats away," eventually reaching the siblings' riverside tree house. Rendered in pencil, ink and watercolor and then pasted onto colored paper of vivid hues, the buoyant illustrations complement the lilting if at times lurching narrative. Wee ones will cheerfully chime in as Chimp and Zee repeat their giggly refrain. Ages 2-6. (Sept.)