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Manky Monkey - Jeanne Willis

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Genre: Junior Books / Author: Jeanne Willis / Edition: illustrated edition / Hardcover / Reading Level: Ages 4-8 / 32 Pages / Book is published 2002-05-30 by Andersen Press Ltd

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      18.04.2010 07:33
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      After my son refused to leave his dad one day last week to visit our local library and pick his own books, I am pleased to report that mummies' choice of bedtime reads seem to have gone down quite well!

      The book I will now review is - "Manky monkey by Jeanne Willis".

      The book starts with one particularly mankey looking monkey, who is sat on his own and is looking really glum.

      He has a problem, with that being that he feels different from the rest of his fellow monkeys.

      He felt he was different in everyway, from the way he acted, the food he liked to eat even down to the thoughts he had.

      After a discussion with his cousin, a huge big gorilla, it is deemed that he is just probably bored and he suggestion is made that to combat this feeling he should try swinging with his knees!

      After realising this didn't work he began examining the rest of his extended family, and coming to the conclusion he had nothing in common with them at all. His cousins and other relatives liked to make silly noises and chatter among themselves and never once did they think about important things like "how the world was made".

      After a final discussion his relatives decided the only thing they could do with the mankey monkey is to throw him in the stream (they are animals after all!).

      After struggling and thinking he was about to drown, the mankey monkey realises he can actually walk upright with the support of the water, so after a little practise he manages to walk on two legs in and out of the water, making him scorned by all his monkey counterparts.

      After this point mankey monkey has as good as alienated himself from the rest of the monkey community and starts to live as he see's fit, but he soon gets lonely.

      Will mankey monkey revert to his old ways and regain his old family ties, or will he meet a like minded monkey?

      For anyone that hasn't cottoned onto the story yet, this is obviously a watered down, children's version of the story of evolution, though with the glaringly obvious differences that this has all happened within a few months and not thousands of years!

      The text is easy enough to read, with it being reasonably bold font and slotted into the full page pictures, with neither element restricting the reading or looking at elements of the book, though this not what I would deem as a starter reader, but one that we would call a bedtime book, perfect for mummy, or just lately big sister Kaitlin to read to Con....I have been relegated!

      The text is also rhyming which gives the book a real rhythm almost like you are singing a song, this flows lovely and is ingenious at times.

      The pictures are what I consider to be messy, with the general jist of the picture being there but with the feeing that these are the first sketches and not the finished article.
      This said though the pictures do give a sense of the monkey indeed being mankey, but are not my cup of tea.

      I think the best part of the book for me is how, in one paragraph the entire evolution of mankind is explained to the child reader/listener -

      "...and they had a billion little ones, and when those children grew, their children all had children, and....the cutest one was you!!"

      This alongside the picture of the mankey monkey transforming from monkey into a man wearing a bower hat was the perfect picture aid.

      Price wise this available from www.amazon.co.uk for the sum of £4.93 plus P&P.

      For more information visit - www.andersonpress.co.uk

      Thanks for reading x

      ISBN 1-84270-329-3

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