A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
It's mainly silly fun, but kids get practice counting and identifying animals.
Never give up, no matter how crazy things get -- keep searching for those monkeys!
Positive Role Models
There are good guys and bad guys in Count the Monkeys: some that scare off the monkeys (the cobra), some that scare off the good guys (the crocodiles, the bears, the wolves) and some that scare off the bad guys (the mongeese, the bees, the bee keepers, the lumberjacks).
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Count the Monkeys, by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Kevin Cornell, is a sort of spoof of conventional counting books. The monkeys of the title have been scared off by a succession of animals and people (that the readers can count), and the actions of those get crazier and crazier as the book goes on. It's a fun ride that's more about that journey than the destination, but there's some monkey satisfaction at the very end.
Is It Any Good?
Count the Monkeys is a funny, clever picture book that plays with the traditional counting motif by making the story about never finding the animals intended to be counted. Instead, readers get to count all sorts of other creatures and people that have scared off the poor monkeys. It's a silly, zany, and action-packed quest, with lots of mishaps and missteps, culminating in "10 polka-dotted rhinoceroses with bagpipes and bad breath," that's guaranteed to provoke giggles, if not guffaws.
Kids will love the expressive, comical illustrations (including "9 lumberjacks" eating pancakes), and the wacky instructions add a playful interactive element -- as if readers' gestures will truly lead to finding the monkeys.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.