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Sunday, April 3, 2016

Quick, Little Monkey!

Quick, Little Monkey! by Sarah L. Thomson, illustrated by Lita Judge is the sweetest thing.  Thomson's story is about a papa pygmy marmoset introducing his baby girl to the world.  He shows her how to swing from vine to vine, holding on tight, flying through their high, forest jungle.  He tells her where to hide, but she is curious about a flower that flies.  I love that part - it's really a butterfly.  The language is rhythmic, the art expressive.
The beautiful tangle of leaves and branches are drawn with graphite pencil and painted with watercolors.  As Little Monkey loses her hold and falls to the deep silence lower down she encounters more predators until Papa saves her.  I love the thoughtful, dramatic story and the poignant energy of the art and facial expressions.  Both generate suspense that the children will love.
There is a short author's note about pygmy marmosets in the back.  
I'll use this book with Preschool Storytime, with Kindergarteners, and with First and Second Graders.  Because of the care of the parent, the suspense, and tender qualities, it will be a favorite.  I'll recommend it to children, teachers, and parents with the same ages.
I also greatly appreciate, artistically, that Judge didn't let the other jungle animals with bolder colors overwhelm the monkeys in color or size with this book.  They are used appropriately when needed, like when the ocelot is staring at Little Monkey, you feel the impending doom.  Right there, no child will be able to draw their eyes away!  Or on the pages that the kids figure out that Little Monkey has grabbed onto a snake, not a vine! Books like this are a librarians dream! So I'll be recommending this title to other Children's Librarian's too!

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