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

Sunday 15 April 2018

Review: Count the Monkeys

A joyous and extremely unique interactive picture book from the incredible Mac Barnett, author of Triangle, Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, and Leo: A Ghost Story amongst many, many brilliant others.

From the title page onwards, Barnett addresses the readers and entices us to participate in the story through a series of different requests and instructions, all the while encouraging us to move through the book and find the Monkeys that we are attempting to count.

The problem is however, that ONE King Cobra has scared the Monkeys away (turn the page very slowly, very carefully so he doesn't notice us). What could be worse than that? Maybe FOUR Grizzly Bears (Okay. Put your arms above your head! Make a loud roar!). Or EIGHT Lumberjacks (Tell these guys to scram!).

As it gets increasingly more crowded, the instructions and discussion between Barnett and the readers gets even more outrageous and hilarious. The fantastic conversational tone of the text made this great fun for me to read to my littlies, they loved being asked to make ridiculous gestures and say silly things, and I could see this being a big hit with larger groups during library or class story times as well.

While counting the monkeys is somewhat more challenging than one might think given the title of the book, the counting elements are still present throughout the story and the numerical representation allows young readers to gain recognition of numbers from 1 though to 10.

It's a ten out of ten Monkeys on this one from me! For more engaging interactive picture books, see our Terrific 10: Clever Interactive Books list.

Title: Count the Monkeys
Author: Mac Barnett
Illustrator: Kevin Cornell
Publisher: Disney Book Publishing Inc, $24.99
Publication Date: 25 June 2013
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9781423160656
For ages: 4 - 6
Type: Picture Book