Quick, Little Monkey!

Quick, Little Monkey! illus. by Lita Judge. 32p. Boyds Mills. Mar. 2016. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781629791005.
PreS-Gr 2—This fast-paced adventure in a South American forest will have readers on the edge of their seats. Little Monkey and her father (pygmy marmosets) are swinging up in the treetops until they see the shadow of a flying predator (a black hawk-eagle). Father patiently gives Little Monkey instructions: "Hold tight." "Hide here." "Keep still." Little Monkey follows directions until a bright butterfly tempts her out of hiding and she falls down into danger, where she must face two more scary predators (an ocelot and an emerald tree boa) alone. Remembering her father's words and actions, she manages (barely!) to protect herself and get to a place where he can rescue her. The illustrations, done in graphite pencil and watercolor, bring heightened tension and emotion to the crisp, lilting text. Little Monkey's endearing and expressive eyes and facial features make her plight all the more palpable to readers, particularly in the spreads dominated by a predator. An author's note at the end tells readers more about the story and about pygmy marmosets, including that the father provides much of the childcare.
VERDICT This dad and daughter escapade will easily engage audiences who like drama and action in their nature stories.

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