Monkey’s Friends by R. Brown
Brown, Ruth. Monkey’s Friends. [London, England], Andersen Press Ltd, 2012. Print.
Prolific English children’s author/illustrator Ruth Brown has created a delightful book in Monkey’s Friends. It is a simple rhymed text telling the story of monkey going through the forest, meeting different animals and greeting them.
Each two page spread shows monkey greeting an animal whom we can see peeking out of the bushes. Every facing page is covered by a half-page flap. When the half-page is turned, the hidden animal is revealed and the animal’s name is printed on the flap.
Brown’s acrylic paintings are fun. Monkey is doing something different in each image. Sometimes he hangs by his tail. Other times he is sitting on a branch or a rock or peering through grass. Each time his expression is alive. Brown also does an excellent job of communicating motion in her paintings. When you lift the flap to see crocodile, he seems to explode out of the water and you see water flying in all directions. While Brown’s animals are realistic, her vegetation is quite unusual. The leaves are highly-textured and look like they might have been done with block prints. The vegetation seems to be simultaneously dense and see-through. The result is a bright and colourful environment for Monkey and his friends.
Young children will enjoy looking for the hidden animals and finding them when the flap is turned. Highly recommended for public and elementary school libraries.
Recommendation: 4 stars out of 4
Reviewer: Sandy Campbell
Sandy is a Health Sciences Librarian at the University of Alberta, who has written hundreds of book reviews across many disciplines. Sandy thinks that sharing books with children is one of the greatest gifts anyone can give.