A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Baby Monkey, Private Eye, a collaboration between author-illustrator Brian Selznick (The Invention of Hugo Cabret) with first-time kids' author David Serlin, is a tour de force of silliness (each chapter features a ridiculous stolen object and involves several pages of Baby Monkey struggling to get his pants on) and loving sweetness. Selznick's illustrations are, as always, packed with detail that will intrigue older kids and adults, but the simple language, repetition, and funny drama make this a perfect fit for the read-aloud set as well as early readers.
What's the story?
One by one, unlikely characters come to the office of BABY MONKEY, PRIVATE EYE, wailing that someone has stolen their jewels. Their pizza. Their clown nose. Their spaceship. Time after time, Baby Monkey looks for clues, takes notes, has a snack, struggles to put on his pants, heads out the door, and quickly finds the ridiculous culprit. His last case wraps everything up sweetly and sends a message of love.
Is it any good?
Early readers and older ones too will giggle their way through the silly adventures of the infant detective whose skill at solving crimes is matched only by his trouble getting his pants on properly. Author-illustrator Brian Selznick's collaboration with first-time kids' author David Serlin is a delight on every page with its humor, imagination, and kindness as it traces the short but eventful career of Baby Monkey, Private Eye.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the work of private investigators as shown in Baby Monkey, Private Eye. Have you heard any other stories about this kind of character? Does it sound like a fun line of work?
Why do you think the pictures on the wall and things like that in Baby Monkey's office keep changing?
Do you think having lots of pictures in a book like this one helps tell the story?
For kids who love picture books and books for early readers
Our editors recommend
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.