There Was an Old Monkey Who Swallowed a Frog

There Was an Old Monkey Who Swallowed a Frog

This is the second book on which Jennifer Ward and Steve Gray have collaborated. The first was There Was a Coyote Who Swallowed a Flea (Rising Moon Publishers, 2007). While this reviewer has not read the Coyote tale, from reading reviews the pattern seems to be that Ward reworks the popular cumulative rhyme with a theme. In There Was an Old Monkey Who Swallowed a Fly, the animals are rainforest flora and fauna; whereas, in the previously reworked Coyote version, the Southwest United States was featured. In this book, a monkey works his way through a frog, cocoa bean, bat, toucan, iguana, cat (which might be a margay or ocelot if we were to stay with rainforest/jungle denizens), sloth, tapir, mango, crocodile, and a vine. The monkey’s gastronomic escapades are digitally rendered as boldly colored, comical, bug-eyed caricatures, sure to please children. In addition, the unusual choice of animals may spark the curiosity of children to investigate their habits and habitat. (The identification of the cat character as just a cat is a bit of a disappointment in this respect.) Overall, this is a fun romp with a ravenous monkey. 40 pages Ages 4-8

Recommended by Katherine Stehman, Elementary School Librarian

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