One funky monkey by Stacey McCleary
Ill. by Sue DeGennaro. Walker Books Australia, 2010. ISBN 9781921150456.
(All Ages) Recommended. What a fun counting book! Can you imagine one funky monkey swinging his torchlight onto a menagerie of animals, all dancing and grooving their way through the night? There are hip-hopping hippos, jungle-jiving giraffes, line dancing lions, eagle-rocking eagles and my favourite, disco dragons, having a wonderful time. The story culminates in a wonderful conga line as they all move in time, dancing off the shelves and count backwards.
I loved the rhythm in this book. The alliteration and internal rhymes make it a wonderful story to read aloud and young children will learn lots of new words as well as how to count in a very imaginative way. The language and sly humour will also appeal to the adult who is reading the story.
Sue DeGennaro's illustrations at first glance seem rather sombre, but on examination, the reader realises that it is night time and that the groovy monkey is putting on a show using his torch to spot light the performers who are moving and grooving all in their own animal ways. Children will enjoy the whimsical expressions on the animals' faces. The endpapers show the toy animals stacked on the shelves and provide children with opportunities to count them to make sure that each group arrived home safely.
One funky monkey is a clever, imaginative counting book to delight all ages.