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Count the Monkeys    by Mac Barnett & Kevin Cornell order for
Count the Monkeys
by Mac Barnett
Order:  USA  Can
Hyperion, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Youngsters three and older will love this hilarious counting book. As the title suggests, you are going to be counting monkeys here, but that's not exactly how the story unfolds.

Flip to the first page and there's a King Cobra! Oh dear, what's happening here? Darn, the big snake scared off all the monkeys, but if we turn the page maybe we'll find them. Nope! Instead there are two mongooses who chased away the cobra.

O.K., that's cool, but surely there will be some monkeys on the next page. Uh-oh! Looks like we have three crocodiles instead. And so it goes ... grizzly bears, bees and beekeepers, wolves, lumberjacks, and even a whole pack of polka-dotted rhinoceroses with bagpipes and bad breath appear on the following pages, but there's not the hint of a monkey.

What gives? Aren't there any monkeys here to count? Actually there are, but I'm not going to tell you where they are hiding; you'll have to find that out for yourself.

Not only is this a fun book to read with a single child, but teachers will discover that Count the Monkeys is also an excellent picture book to read out loud with a class. Mac Barnett actively engages the listener by instructing the child at various times to 'move your hand in a zig zag', 'put you arms above your head! Make a loud roar!', and 'Hum a happy tune and smile.'

A room full of children will think that following these instructions is a wonderful idea and, like a tree full of rambunctious monkeys, they'll be laughing and squealing with delight at this silly story.

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