written and illustrated by Ruth Brown
2012 (Kane Miller)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher
Monkey went for a walk one day and met some friends along the way.
Monkey's Friends is a fun read-aloud romp through the jungle for preschool and kindergarten students. Ruth Brown sets up the text nicely for students to be able to predict which word is going to be on the next page. When they see "smile" on one page, students can use background and phoneme knowledge to predict that "crocodile" will be on the next page. Each rhyme answer appears on a cut page that enhances the effect of reading as a game. In addition, the illustrations are phenomenal which aid students attempting to predict. Brown uses different techniques like leaf prints to show several textures in each scene. The illustrations help in decoding as a beginning reader uses the pictures to read the text. I can see Monkey's Friends as a perfect bedtime story as well. It is a fairly short text that will hold up to many repeated readings. This book is the kind that you want to read with a preschooler who will immediately pick up on the rhythm and quickly memorize it themselves. Then they will be the "reader" at bedtime. A rumble through the jungle with Monkey is a delightful reading experience.