'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.' - author Jackie French

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Review: Melvin the Unluckiest Monkey in the World

Poor, woeful Melvin is the unluckiest monkey in the world. Or so he thinks.

He's always out of bananas ... but then, if he's looking for them at the fishmongers, he's really not going to find any, is he? People at the park want to have a photo taken with him ... but he's sure it's because he looks silly, not because he's just awfully cute.

Then there's the visit to the doctor. He's absolutely certain something is awfully wrong with him, but of course, he's as healthy as can be--and luckier than most.

Melvin's friend Pete the Penguin quickly gets tired of his mate's antisocial ways, and takes off, but not before suggesting Melvin may just need to go home to bed. Naturally, the monkey takes offence and ends up in tears.

To cheer himself up, Melvin follows a 'bananas' sign, but when he gets to the market, the shopkeep tells him he's just sold the last bunch--to a penguin. Can you guess who might have snaffled the last of the bananas? And why?

This is a simple but gorgeous story about friendship, tolerance, and realising just how lucky we are. There are no hammer-over-the-head morals in this story (praise be)--just a sweet tale about thoughtfulness and sharing and realisation.

Boldt's imagery is bananas good, with striking, block colour illustrations in a beautiful retro palette that's a joy to behold. A must for picture book collectors. And kids.

Title: Melvin the Unluckiest Monkey in the World
Author/Illustrator: Claudia Boldt
Publisher: Tate, $17.95 RRP
Publication Date: 2 May 2013
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781849760867
For ages: 3 - 8
Type: Picture Book

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