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Monkey Puzzle - Julia Donaldson

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Author: Julia Donaldson / Edition: New edition / Paperback / 32 Pages / Book is published 2000-08-11 by Macmillan Children's Books

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    28 Reviews
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      11.02.2014 22:05
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      Colourful short story with lots of colourful illustrations

      ===The Product===

      Paperback with 32 pages
      Published by Macmillan Children's Books
      ISBN: 978-0333720011
      By Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
      Size is 8.5 by 10.5 inches.

      ===Cost===

      Recommended price is £6.99
      Currently selling on Amazon for £1.75.



      ===My Opinion===

      This is another of the Julia Donaldson books that I have purchased for my little niece who is three years old going on four.

      This is a large colourful book and has a good glossy card cover.

      I gave this book together with a little beanie monkey which my niece loves to hold and cuddle.

      The poor little monkey on the cover of the book is in trouble - 'I've lost my mum'. He is in the jungle and cannot find his mum. A friendly passing blue butterfly takes pity on him and tries to help.

      On each double page illustration a different creature is suggested and found in the hope that she is the mother of little monkey.

      The pages are very bright and colourful and apart from the monkey and the butterfly he is talking to there are other creatures dotted around the page for the child to look and search for.

      There is very little text - just a few lines where the monkey is asking for his lost mum and the butterfly makes various suggestions. The poor monkey gives short little clues such as 'she's big' or 'she lives in trees'. However each clue is not quite enough for the helper to make the correct suggestion so they take monkey to who they think is his mother - but they are all unsuitable in various ways.

      The covers are a lovely green jungly sort of colour with leaves and branches.

      There is a colourful double page of end papers showing jungles.

      All the pages of the story are fully covered in colourful illustrations and with lots of creatures that the child would probably know - such as butterfly, elephant and parrot.

      We find the animals delightful and even the snake and spider of the story are not too frightening - well not for us anyway so long as the child is not afraid of them to begin with.

      The story would be got through quite quickly but you can take longer reading the story and explore the pictures as you go.

      At the end of the story of course poor little monkey is reunited with his mum and is shown giving her a huge hug - just like my niece does to her little baby monkey.

      A short and simple story and one that the child will soon know off by heart so can then 'read' the story themselves - aided by the illustrations.



      ===Star Rating===

      5 stars.



      ===Would I Recommend?===

      Yes.

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        11.01.2014 22:55
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        A fun rhyming story

        This book was given to one of my 3 year old daughters as a Christmas present at one of the toddler groups that we go to. I'm always happy to see books as presents as both my girls enjoy being read to and I know that they will get plenty of use. Monkey Puzzle is written by Julia Donaldson best known for The Gruffalo but this was our first experience of her work.

        The story is about a young Monkey who has lost his Mum and the butterfly who tries to help him find her. Unfortunately for Monkey the butterfly doesn't realise that Monkey's Mum looks like him and so we follow them around the jungle looking in all the wrong places. It's a funny story and so enjoyable to read whilst watching my girls laughing at silly butterfly.

        The rhyming style to the book makes it easy to read in a way that entices your child to listen. Both my girls were hooked from the first page as we followed their journey. They both love animals and enjoy pointing them out on the pages. It has become a firm favourite in our house and is regularly chosen at story time.

        Our copy of this book is an A4 paperback which means the pages are large enough for both my daughters to see whilst I'm reading to them. Each double spread is fully illustrated by Axel Scheffler and they really bring the book to life.

        Price and availability
        This book is currently (January 2014) £4 new or from £2.60 usedon Amazon, if you are a fan on Julia Donaldson you can buy this book as part of a 10 pack from the Book People for £9.99.

        Would I recommend?
        Yes, this book is a lovely read and is a firm favourite with my 3 year olds.

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        18.09.2013 13:27
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        Heartwarming!

        I spotted this book in Whsmith during their buy one get on free offer. I noticed it was by the same writer as 'The Gruffalo' and after it's overwhelming success I figured that this must also be good!

        This incredibly engaging story tells of a young monkey who has lost his Mum and a kind butterfly who helps him to find her. The butterfly takes him to various animals, while the monkey tries to describe to him what his lost Mum looks like. It takes a while for the butterfly to find the right animal, but the story ends in a lovely cuddle!

        Julia Donaldson's work seems to follow a fantastic trend of beautiful illustrations, by Axel Scheffler in this book and all her others, and also catchy rhyme that makes the book lovely to read! The reason why I like her rhyming books is because they make them so easy to read enthusiastically and allow my daughter to join in, this combined with the colourful drawings will keep this book as one of my daughter's favourites for years to come. The book also gives children the opportunity to learn and name all the different animals, my daughter loves making all the different animal noises every time I turn the page!

        The great thing about this book is although it is primarily aimed at children, it is enjoyable for adults to read too. Sometimes it can be a chore reading the same books again and again but I don't find that with this one as I find it very clever and funny in places. The ending is lovely and heartwarming and perfect for bedtime.

        Monkey Puzzle is currently on amazon selling at £4 which I think is the best I've seen.

        Perfect for children of all ages.

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        23.06.2013 13:36
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        Monkey puzzle Julia donaldson

        Money puzzle is a wonderful little story by the creator of The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson and I think it's actually my favourite Julia Donaldson book at the moment. I have just about every children's book she has written and this one has such a cute ending and feeling too it and also includes lots of animals which my son loves. This enables us to make lots of animal nosies as we are reading through the book and is a great way of learning about animals and what they look like.

        In monkey puzzle we meet a young monkey who has lost his mum. Luckily a friendly butterfly is on hand to help monkey find his mum. " "Hush little monkey, don't you cry. I'll help you find her, " said Butterfly." They go on a journey through the jungle to find Monkey's mum and he tries to describe what she looks like to the butterfly is always getting it wrong. For example the monkey says his mum has brown fur but the butterfly takes the monkey to a bat with brown fur! It turns out the butterfly doesn't understand that mummy monkey is going to look like baby monkey because her babies are caterpillars and look nothing like her!

        There is lovely rhyming language in this story which makes the words flow and easy to read and helps to make the story fun and interesting. Along the way we meet so many different animals which I think is a great way of teaching kids different animals and what size/shape/colour they are. We always like to make the sound of the animal too which entertains my kids.

        The story takes place in the beautiful surroundings of the jungle. It's the illustrations that really bring this story to life. The jungle is lovely and lush and green and has lots of trees and plants and animals lurking in it. The pictures of the animals are very true to life which is great.

        We have the large paperback version, ISBN 978-0-333-72001-1 from Macmillan and it costs £6.99.

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          18.04.2013 12:48
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          A classic children's tale in the making

          Monkey Puzzle, penned by Julia Donaldson, is a simple tale about a baby monkey who loses his mum and a friendly butterfly who helps him find her.

          But the search is not quite as straight-forward as you would think because the butterfly does not understand that the monkey's mum looks just like him. Instead the butterfly repeatedly mistakes a host of other animals from an elephant to a bat as the monkey's mum. The reason for the butterfly's blunder is revealed later in the story.

          Monkey Puzzle is written by the same author as the now widely known tale of the Gruffalo. This book is however by no means an inferior work to its more famous counterpart, despite being less well known.
          This is because Donaldson is at her best in Monkey Puzzle at combining her unique mix of humour, sentimentality and instantly recognisable rhyming style to create a story which is suitable for children of all ages - and adults will certainly enjoy the story as well.

          My daughter began to listen to this story read aloud just before her second birthday and the bouncy, rhyming style and the colourful illustrations by the talented Axel Scheffler ensured the book was an instant hit and requested again and again.

          The repetition often used in Donaldson's books is alive and well in Monkey Puzzle, most obviously in the repetition of "No, no, no...that's not my mum" which is an excellent cue for youngsters to join in. Whilst the bold pictures of animals allow children of all ages to pre-empt what's coming next when the line begins, "that's a..." - for example elephant.

          The comical descriptions such as "baggy knees" and "squabble and shriek" will raise a giggle from more understanding readers, whilst acting as a fun, educational tool for youngsters to start to identify the characteristics of animals.

          The concept of the book of a young animal losing, and then finding, his mum, harks back to children's books of a previous golden era which ran along cautionary tales and instructional works to educate and comfort children.

          But first and foremost, Monkey Puzzle is a great romp of a fun tale which will stick in the minds of all who hear and read it. A must have book for all children, which is even a pleasure for adults to read to their little ones over and over again - because you will find that that is exactly what you will be doing.

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            28.01.2013 21:41
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            A real joy to read.

            Monkey Puzzle is by the well known children's author Julia Donaldson and like with many of her well known loved books she has teamed with Axel Scheffler. Julia Donaldson is well known for The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo's child, Room on the broom and many others. She is one of my son's favourite authors and I really enjoy her books too. I think that is the main success to her books not only does the child become engaged in the book adults love reading them to their children too, win win. Our collection of her books is slowly growing and this is one we have had for quite a while now but really enjoy.


            Monkey puzzle is a lovely story which does start off on a little bit of a sad note. This poor little monkey that does look rather cute and vulnerable has lost his mum. But kind Butterfly takes the task of helping monkey find his mum. Unfortunately they don't find her straight away! Each time monkey gives Butterfly a brief description but Butterfly just doesn't get it quite right. It is then discovered Butterfly's babies don't look like her something that got my eldest into a great discussion with my youngest who was slightly confused bless him. Only time and reading the story off course will tell you whether monkey finds his mummy or not. It is a Julia Donaldson story though so you should be able to guess!


            Reading this book again and again is a joy to me and my boys love it. As with most Donaldson books the text is repetitive and does rhyme making it very easy to read and flows straight off the tongue. It didn't take long for my boys to recognise the repetitive nature of the story and they began joining in which I feel really makes a book and story time special. Once the story gets going each page begins with the same sentence 'No, no, no! That's a ...' which my boys very animatedly shout out.

            I really like this book for the descriptive words and I do feel it shows your child the art of being able to describe something from something else which isn't always easy. It was after reading this book to my eldest I thought about seeing if he could describe an item in front of him using simple descriptive words like big, long, bright etc.. Donaldson really doesn't scrimp on the use of descriptive words which I find brilliant and my eldest son also enjoyed alongside the wonder illustrations by Axel Scheffler.


            Monkey Puzzle is set in a jungle setting so the pictures are quite dark. There are lots of greenery and brown trunks yet I feel it still has a friendly feel about it. There are plenty of wonderful animals in this book much to the enjoyment of my youngest son who loves to shout out all the animal names as we turn each page. There is an elephant, snake, parrot, frog and many more all of which have been illustrated fantastically. The pictures in this book enhance the story and for someone like my youngest who struggles with his concentration the illustrations in this book keep him engrossed.


            Monkey Puzzle is quite a well known book by Julia Donaldson so is widely available at lots of high street shops and online. It retails at £6.99 but can currently (Jan 2013) be found on Amazon at £3.50 which is in my eyes extremely good value. It is a lovely story that will certainly get your child involved in it. My boys are aged 3 and a half and five years old and they both want this book reading over and over again they just don't tire of it.

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              20.01.2013 14:23
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              Worth the read

              I work at a pre-school and this is by far my favorite book to read to the children.

              The story follows a young monkey who has lost his mother and is helped by a butterfly to find her. They visit many animals on the way to find his mum as the butterfly doesn't realise the monkeys mum looks like him.
              As do most Julia Donaldson books, the story flows well and has rhyming words in every other line. This helps children to learn rhymes as they will try to finish the sentences off for themselves. As the pages turn the children love to shout out 'no, no, no it's a ...', as the story follows the same format throughout the books and it really gets them involved in the story.

              Axel Scheffler's brightly coloured pictures have a lot of detail and this really helps them to understand the story.

              This book can help children learn about the life cycle of a butterfly and all the animals they meet along the way and shows that everyone is different and have unique skills.

              This book is by popular children's author Julia Donaldson and a book everyone will love.

              I have read this time and time again and still look forward to reading it to new children I see in the future.

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                15.01.2013 18:49
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                One of Donaldson's best - and all of her books are good.

                I am well aware of the importance of listening to rhyme in the development of literacy. As many of you may know I have very strong beliefs about literacy, and my concern about literacy was one of my primary reasons to home educate. Like most parents, I do want the best for my children, and I am willing to make sacrifices to ensure this. And as far as I am concerned -reading the average nursery rhyme is a sacrifice - they are so boring. Granted there are a few good ones - but I always thought of those more as stories than rhymes - The Gingerbread Man - 5 Little Monkeys etc... and the infamous "remember the night you fell in the ***** is always popular here, but in general I do not like nursery rhymes. Mary Had a Little Lamb, Little Jack Horner, Wee Willie Winkle etc... just don't seem very exciting to me, and as much as tried to feign enthusiasm when reading these to my children - they never really took them either.

                However, the ability to recognise rhyme is a critical step in learning to read, especially for those who use a phonetic approach. This quote can be found all over the Internet "Experts in literacy and child development have discovered that if children know eight nursery rhymes by heart by the time they're 4 years old, they're usually among the best readers by the time they're 8". It originates with an Australian author Mem Fox in her book Reading Magic**. It is cited in paper after paper on children's literacy, but Mem Fox places the greatest importance on just reading to your children - and I do believe children respond better to books when adults are really enjoying them as well - when reading becomes a wonderful shared experience. So - I have made a point of seeking out books that rhyme - but I refuse to settle for any book that rhymes - it needs a good story. Julia Donaldson has a rare knack of getting the rhythm and rhyme just right, but she also also manages to weave a good story as well. This book is a delight to read while still preparing children for literacy by helping them learn to recognise rhyme.

                My son discovered this at our local library. We weren't planning to check out books at the time - just donating a few, it is quite rare for our library to get new books in, and we'd already read everything that looked remotely worth reading, but this was displayed near the entrance to the library and caught his interest. After reading this once, I knew we had to have a copied and immediately ordered our own from Amazon. My son wanted to hear this over and over, insisting that we wouldn't be able to keep it long. I assured him we could keep until his own copy came, but he never seemed to quite believe it and for ages kept asking if he had to give his copy back. I believe he was 2 at the time - perhaps a bit younger.

                Monkey Puzzle is about a little monkey who has lost his mother. Butterfly kindly offers to help and asks Little Monkey what she looks like. Each time Little Monkey gives a description, Butterfly finds an animal that matches those adjectives - but is nothing like Little Monkey's Mother. Each time monkey replies in with a rhyming verse. I would always pause when butterfly found an animal and ask my son - "Is that his Mommy?" to which I would get a delighted "No" - that's a frog" - or an elephant, a snake, a bat or other animal. Even though he is now 4, he still responds to each page the same way.

                This really is a brilliant story that my son would get very involved in. The gentle rhyming verse made this a real pleasure to read and there is a lovely rhythm to the book. My sons always enjoyed searching for things in books too, so the search made this even more fun. The illustrations are bright and colourful and perfectly match the text, but the best part of all is the funny ending.

                We've had this story for years now, and I had to go upstairs to get it for this review, as it has once again worked it's way into the book basket for the very favourite stories that are read quite frequently at bedtime. It may get forgotten about for a few weeks, but it always gets brought out again. Surprisingly, my son must remember picking this from the library because he asked me last week if we were not meant to give this back. I explained that we did give the library book back - years ago - and I bought this one just for him. He is 4 now and still gets quite a lot out of this book, and it was enjoyed by my oldest as well when we first bought it as he was only 5. He did get tired of hearing it 5 times in a row though. This is definitely one of those books I could recite in my sleep.

                In addition to being a perfect read aloud story for younger children this book is a wonderful book to teach children about adjectives and descriptive words when they are older. We even had fun making up are own rhyming descriptions for our family. of course these aren't always terribly flattering, but it is good fun. The book would help babies and very young children learn the names of animals as well as a few features, and it shows rather amusingly how easy it can be to misunderstand a person - or a monkey's description. I'm sure most very young children will relate to this as every small child has times when the grownups around them appear as silly as the butterfly because they simply can not understand what he is trying to express. There seems to be a huge sense of relief when little monkey finally finds the right words to get his point across.

                This is a story that lends itself to expression easily as well, and I have used this again to teach my oldest to read with expression. It's easy to express the monkey's frustration as he can't get his point across "No, no no! ". I also feel that using different voices and expression helps a young child really get into the story. Adding animal sounds an makeit even more fun. This is one of those books that just has so many different uses, and I believe is a wonderful resource to help a child develop phonological awareness and later literacy. But above all else - this story is fun. It is one of those wonderful books that makes story time magical and reading books like this is one of the great perks of parenthood. It's a perfect story to snuggle up with and end a busy day.

                There really isn't much I could fault this book on I suppose one could point out that Macaws and elephants do not live on the same continent, and the bird referred to as a parrot here really is a Scarlett Macaw, but I don't feel this book is meant to be scientifically accurate - after all if it were - little monkey wouldn't have been searching any more after finding the huge constrictor type snake - he'd more likely be lunchr. But an older child could make a science exercise of this book by finding out where the different animals live.

                My son says this book should get 5 stars because it is really good. That simplifies things - but he is right - this book is very good in more ways than one. I feel the bright colours, rhyming text and the overall story would make this suitable for very young children. As soon as a child becomes verbal they could answer "no" when asked if each animal is the mommy and I found my sons especially enjoyed this type of involvement in books near the 1 year age mark. I would recommend this book from perhaps 6 months up to 6 years. It is available from Amazon in a number of formats including paperback, hardback, board book and a book with CD set with prices ranging from £2.81 for a used copy and £3.50 for new to £5.81 for book, cd and audiobook new. I have no idea where the best offer at the top of this page at £15.81 comes in because i can not find any version this expensive myself. This is one of those books I really feel every child should own, and I only wish I had found it when my oldest was a baby - so we could have had more years of fun from it.


                *Title quotation stolen from : UVU - Utah Valley University

                **http:// www.memfox.net/ reading-magic-intro
                http:// www.uvu.edu/ccrr/pdf/ RHYMERS%20 ARE%20READERS.pdf

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                  15.01.2013 08:05
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                  Story of a monkey trying to find his mum, from the creators of 'The Gruffalo'

                  I purchased another of Julia Donaldson's works, 'The Gruffalo', for my 3 year old daughter last year, and it has become a much read book in our household. Because of my daughters love of animals, along with her love for 'The Gruffalo', I decided to purchase this book as part of her 3rd birthday presents and from the off, we wern't disappointed. I could probably end the review here, as what better endorsement do you need than "from the creators of The Gruffalo", but for the people out there who haven't read 'The Gruffalo' I shall continue.

                  == The Story ==

                  Monkey Puzzle sees Julia Donaldson once again join forces with illustrator Axel Scheffler, this time telling the story of a monkey who has lost his/her mum and he/she is trying to find her. The monkey enlists the help of a not very intelligent butterfly, who not thinking that the monkeys mum would look like the monkey, introduces the monkey to different animals based on small bits of information the monkey gives to it eg. The butterfly asks questions like "How big is she?", "she's bigger than me" said the monkey, so the butterfly introduces the monkey to an elephant. This goes on throughout the whole book, with each time the monkey uttering and eventually shouting the refrain, "No No No!" as it gets more and more frustrated at the butterflies ever increasingly silly suggestions, I usually get Lily to read this part and she loves joining in with the story, as most children of that age do.

                  As with all the books I have read by the same author, the story is told in a nice rhythmic rhyming style and the words just seem to flow off your tongue. The illustrations are very colourful and the pictures of the monkey and the butterfly look almost human, I think they did this, as these are the two main speaking parts throughout the book, it kind of puts you in the story.

                  == Price ==

                  I purchased this from amazon.co.uk for £3.50 with free delivery, a bargain in my opinion considering the hours of enjoyment we have had from this book already.

                  == Verdict ==

                  My daughter and I both absolutely love this book and it has just made me want to get more books by Julia Donaldson. I definitely get as much enjoyment out of reading it as my daughter gets out of it being read to her and it has fast overtaken 'The Gruffalo' as the book of the moment in our house. I highly recommend this book for anyone with a young child, I think I bought it at just the right age for Lily, as she is at that age where she wants to join along with the story and I think we will get enjoyment from it for many years to come.

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                    27.12.2012 11:33
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                    I've lost my mum!

                    A little monkey loses his mum in the jungle and a butterfly offers to help the monkey find her.

                    It sounds like an incredibly simple premise for a book and it is, however, for me this is one of the best books by the excellent children's author, Julia Donaldson as it is informative and helps children learn about animals as well as being written in a style of rhyming prose which is fun and easy to listen to for even the smallest children.

                    Written by Donaldson, the story follows the monkey as they explain to the butterfly what their mum looks like and the helpful butterfly keeps showing the wrong animals based on the brief description given, the story builds nicely to a happy ending, but in the interim we meet elephants, parrots, bats, elephants again, snakes and caterpillars.

                    The drawing by Axel Shaffer is excellent as always, idiosyncratic, but colourful and descriptive, the book as a whole is very colourful and detailed, however the key element is the story and it is written with compassion that draws the reader and the listening child in easily, the story is fun and yet has a touching ending which is well played and very tender.

                    My little one has a short attention span but loves this book and listens intently throughout, especially waiting for the monkey's regular cry of 'No no no that's a ......', I think this book is excellent for kids from 9 months to 3 years old, it has a very good story, excellent prose and is fun and informative in equal measures.

                    We bought the hardback as we still have issues with paperbacks being ripped by our overenthusiastic little reader, the book is perfectly sized at around 12cm by 10cm and is very hard wearing, we bought the book for £3 from Amazon and the price is fairly consistent (Currently £3.50), there are 32 pages in total and each one is chocked full of excellent drawings of the jungle that just add to the feel of the book.

                    I rate this book highly I love reading it and my little one loves listening to the story, it is long enough to be a great bedtime read while still being short enough to hold attention, the story is fun and you learn from it, but not in a preachy way. Another hit for Donaldson who has been a very important writer in helping us introduce literature that is fun and well written to our child's life.

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                    23.04.2012 18:42
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                    Don't monkey around - buy it!

                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                    Our current top read!
                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                    My daughter has many books but this one currently ranks as my favourite - and luckily she likes it too! It tells the story of a little monkey who is looking around the jungle for his mum, with the not-so-helpful input of a butterfly!

                    This book is written by Julia Donaldson, and illustrated by Axel Scheffler who have worked together on lots of children's books - probably most famously The Gruffalo. This is quite a large, paperback book which is currently on amazon for £3.69.

                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                    A great grey hunk?
                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                    There are two things that make this book so appealing. The first is that the story is told in rhyme as the monkey describes characteristics of his mum and the butterfly makes wrong assumptions based on these clues. On each page the butterfly takes the monkey to his "mum" only for monkey to say: "No, no, no, that's not my mum!" and then goes on to explain, in rhyme, why. So when the butterfly takes monkey to his mum, who turns out to be an elephant, monkey explains: "My mum isn't a great grey hunk. She hasn't got tusks or a curly trunk."

                    The other lovely thing about the book is the illustrations which are bright and detailed and give graphic scenes of jungle-life full of wildlife and animals. There is so much going on on each page, and my daughter loves to point out all the different creatures and plants. So the combination of the rhyming narrative and the gorgeous, vivid images make this a real winner for us!

                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                    They don't look like me!
                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                    My favourite part of the story is when the monkey, exasperated at all the wrong turns on the hunt for his mum, tells butterfly that his mum looks "just like me!" to which the butterfly explains: "I didn't know. I couldn't! You see ... None of my babies looks like me!" and shows monkey his babies - a big group of caterpillars!

                    All in all we love this book. The verse is really fun and lovely, and it is enjoyable to read. The language is appealing and my daughter is definitely a fan of it - she loves talking me through the animals and has learnt about their characteristics through the clever rhymes.

                    As well as the language, the illustrations are gorgeous with so much detail and loads to look at - you can ask children to find certain animals and it is lots of fun to explore the pages.

                    This is a great book and I really can't fault it. For under £4 I would highly recommend this lovely book, which I think would make a great gift for ages 2 and over.

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                      14.06.2011 09:23
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                      A fab book!

                      I recently purchased a box set of books written by Julia Donaldson and my daughter is just hooked on them all! For those of you who haven't heard of Julia Donaldson (as I hadn't until recently) she is the mastermind behind The Gruffalo and as we love that book so much we just had to get more books by this fantastic author.

                      Monkey Puzzle is illustrated by Axel Scheffler and published by Macmillan Childrens Books. The book we have is a hard backed version, (which can easily be cleaned after little sticky hands have been holding it) and is A4 size. The cover shows a cute little monkey sitting on a branch in the jungle looking a little bit puzzled.

                      At the beginning of the book we see a sad little monkey in the middle of the jungle who has lost his mummy. A butterfly appears and calms him down and tells him she will help him find her and they set off through the jungle. As they search, they come across an elephant, a snake, a spider, a parrot, a frog, a bat and finally another elephant! Will the butterfly finally help poor monkey find his mum?

                      The story is wonderfully written, as with all Julia Donaldson's stories, and contain plenty of rhyme and repetition, for example:

                      "My mum isn't a great grey hunk, she hasn't got tusks or a curly trunk! She doesn't have great thick baggy knees, and anyway her tail coils round trees".

                      My daughter does enjoy most styles of stories, but she does really like listening to this particular style of book as there is rhyme on each page. The text in the book is a really good size which will enable young readers to read it by themselves also. Each time the butterfly speaks it is in a different text than the monkey so when a younger child is reading alone they will be able to differentiate between the animals that are speaking. The story also contains a lot of questions and exclamations from the butterfly so it is packed with punctuation marks means older children can also enjoy the book as when they are reading it they will understand the exclamations more than younger ones.

                      The range of animals that we meet in the book is quite good and there are animals in there that we don't necessarily see in many childrens books. As the butterfly brings the monkey to each animal, there is a little bit of information about each such as size, noises and what they eat which brings more learning to the child.

                      Each page in the book is packed with pictures and there are many things to spot in the trees which brings an opportunity to discuss different things with your child and that is something I do really like about books.

                      The recommended retail price on this book is £10.99 but you will find it on Amazon considerably cheaper. I cannot recommend this book highly enough, my daughter loves it and I enjoy reading it to her.

                      Thank you for reading my review.

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                        18.05.2011 07:46
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                        Julia Donaldson is an excellent author, she is an absolutely fabulous writer who I only discovered after my little grandson was born 2 years ago, I first bought him another book written by Julia and he loved it so much I decided that her books would be ones that I would love to buy for my little grandson and myself for us to read together and have fun.

                        This comes in a paper back and hard back, the one I bought is paper back and I bought it from Amazon for only £3.50, including postage and so I think it is a fabulous price for a lovely book and a bargain price. It is priced much higher in the shops and so it is best to look around for the cheapest offer and I found Amazon to be the cheapest. The book is new too and not a used one and so an even more excellent price that I paid for a good book in my opinion. At the back of the book it tells me it is priced at £6.99 and so I bought a real bargain when I bought this one at half price brand new.

                        The book is a good size and measures approximately 10 inches x 8 inches rectangle shape, it has a shiny cover so it can be easily wiped clean if it becomes a little dirty etc. Each page has very colourful pictures and ones that children can relate to, mostly they are animals, trees and flowers.

                        The book tells the story of a little baby monkey trying to find mummy, a butterfly helps the monkey to find mummy and reassures the monkey that mummy will be found, the story goes on throughout the book with the butterfly coming across animals in the jungle that may be the little monkey's mummy. It is a really nice story for a young child and it is a good one for them to learn about animals and how big each one is etc.

                        The text in the book is quite large and easy to read, the story is really a pleasant one and it has words in the book for an older child to learn to read because I think some of the words are ones that are not commonly used in some books and so I think this book is amazingly good for older children to learn how to read these words in my opinion.

                        My grandson knows most animals and can relate to them in this book and point to the animals I ask him to point too and he loves the story, although he is only 2 years old. It is a book designed for the older child but it is also very good for the younger ones as my grandson is at the age where he just loves books and it suits him very well. He loves the colours in the book and it helps him to know a sad face and a happy one because the animals in the book show different face expressions and so very good for a child to know if they are happy or not.

                        I think it is a book with very good grammar included because when a child is learning at school grammar, it is a good way to read to learn this grammar in a book they will enjoy instead of a boring book which would not interest them that much. This one shows lots of punctuation marks so can be fun learning how to use them correctly and have fun reading at the same time. It is a really good interesting book for a young child to read in my opinion.
                        I find my grandson does not get bored half way through this book as he does with some others we have at my home which we read together, this one keeps him very interested until the very end and one he actually adores.

                        I am so pleased I bought him this book and I highly do recommend it for others to buy because I just think you would not be disappointed at all with the story or the illustrations on each page and I do recommend that you do look around for a cheaper price as prices do vary and so grab a bargain as I did when I bought this one and make reading time for a child and yourself fun and interesting as it is very important in life to be able to read etc as we all know.

                        I give this one 5 stars.

                        Also on Ciao under my username Pinky50.

                        Thank you for reading my review.

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                          22.12.2010 19:57
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                          A lovely book

                          Monkey Puzzle

                          Monkey puzzle is a children's book written by the authors Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, together they have created a wide range of fun and educating books, the most famous being the Gruffalo. My daughter has always been a great fan of the Grufffalo since acting out a scene in her nursery production and when I saw that monkey puzzle was created by the same authors I just had to get it.

                          What it's about


                          Monkey puzzle tells a story about a young monkey who has lost his mum and a friendly butterfly who tries to help him find her. The book allows children to learn about the different creatures that live in the forest and it shows how not everyone is the same. Throughout the book the monkey tells the butterfly little things about what his mum looks like, for example he says "her tail coils round trees" by this little detail the butterfly will then proceed on the adventure to find the monkeys mum and takes the monkey to a snake as it is coiled around a tree.

                          Throughout the book the butterfly can't understand why the monkey is telling her different things about what his mum looks like and the monkey can't understand why the butterfly thinks a creature like a snake would be his mum. Throughout the book we meet creatures such as snakes, elephants and frogs but none of them are the monkeys mum. Towards the end of the book the monkey tells the butterfly that none of the creatures look like him! The butterfly then shows the monkey her babies and they are all caterpillars and they don't look like the butterfly that's why she didn't realise the monkeys mum would look like him. At the end of the book the butterfly takes the monkey to his dad and he takes the monkey home to his mum.

                          Our experiences

                          The book tells a lovely story that children will find entertaining and educational. The book is very cleverly written and shows children that not everything is the same. My daughter loves joining in with this book and laughs and giggles along saying things like "no, that's not the monkeys' mummy." Despite my efforts she still gets a little confused when I try to explain to her that the caterpillars are the butterfly's babies but she won't have any of it, she laughs at me like I am being silly. When she gets a bit older I think she will start to understand a bit more, but it is a fantastic book to teach children about the caterpillar/butterfly process, or at least it is a great place to start, and will get children questioning about the intriguing facts of nature.

                          The way it's written

                          The books story is told through a conversation like structure between the monkey and the butterfly, this really allows you to connect with the two different characters and act out the different voices for them both. The butterflies half of the conversation is in italics which makes it easier to distinguish the different characters. I'm not sure why but when I am reading the book and doing the different voices I always say the butterflies lines in a sort of wise mans voice. Its definitely got nothing to do with the pictures of the butterfly so it could possibly be that the writing is italics which makes it slow and croaky or it could just be that I am terrible with voices, either way my daughter loves it when I read the butterflies lines with a voice that one could only describe at the very least as being abnormally strange!

                          Illustrations

                          The book is illustrated with very bright and attractive pictures. It really allows you to see the different creatures and the monkey and the butterfly are on all of the pages with the different creatures to allow children to compare what they all look like and work out for themselves that each one is not the monkey's mummy.


                          The book doesn't have a specific age range but for children to be able to understand the majority of the book I would say they would have to at least be two. The book costs £5.99 however it would probably be found cheaper on places such as Amazon if you shop around. I would definitely recommend this book, me and my daughter have enjoyed laughter and fun with this book and I am sure that you would as well.

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                            26.11.2010 21:17
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                            Great book by the Gruffalo Duo

                            Julia Donaldson (author) and Axel Scheffler (illustrator), AKA the Gruffalo duo, team up again for this delightful story of a little monkey who has lost his mummy. Next to the Gruffalo this is my favourite book by Julia Donaldson. Its retail price is £5.99, but can typically be picked up for £3-£4. The story is typical of Julia Donaldson's style with simple repetitive rhymes which I think especially appeals to younger children (2-4 years of age). I think the story is slightly less complex that the Gruffalo and consequently is more easy for younger children to understand. My little girl was especially obsessive about this book when she was three years old, and although she still likes to read it she now prefers the Gruffalo.

                            The little monkey appeals to a little butterfly to help him find his mum. I think all little ones can relate to the lost mum concept and this idea especially appealed to my mummy obsessed daughter with her two favourite books being Monkey Puzzle and Owl Babies. The baby monkey provides clues to what his mum looks like (e.g. my mum leaps and springs) and the helpful butterfly tracks down for him a creature that fits the description (e.g. a frog). My daughter loved guessing which creature would appear next (quite a game for the first 3 readings;)). You are introduced to a variety of creatures from an elephant with big baggy knees to a hairy fat spider, before finally finding the little monkeys dad. Dad takes him to his mum and they have a huge cuddle! It really is an endearing story and I never tired of reading the story - even when I had to read it every night for three months!

                            I think perhaps the cleverest thing about this short story is that the little monkey cannot understand why the butterfly does not realise that his mum looks the same as he does! The butterfly then introduces the monkey to her babies ... and ... looking at the caterpillars specifies that none of them look like she does!

                            As a zoologist I love the drawings in this book. They are really quite detailed when you look in depth .... little leaf ants carrying leaves, a chameleon catching a fly with his tongue, a weevil climbing a tree trunk. Perhaps the detail of these drawings is what keeps the parents so entertained - you can always see something new if you look!

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                          • Product Details

                            Can Butterfly help Little Monkey find his mum? Yes, but only after a lot of trial and error as Butterfly misunderstands Monkey's descriptions and leads him to all kinds of unsuitable animals.