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Monkey and Elephant    by Carole Lexa Schaefer & Galia Bernstein order for
Monkey and Elephant
by Carole Lexa Schaefer
Order:  USA  Can
Candlewick, 2012 (2012)
*   Reviewed by Bob Walch

First in a new series featuring Monkey and Elephant, this picture book for children five years of age and older features three short stories that are just the right length for beginning readers.

It is a very hot day in the jungle and Elephant and Monkey try to find some relief from the heat. As they look for shade, the two friends begin to bicker about walking too fast or too slow. They find water but that causes another problem when Elephant sucks it all up with his trunk.

Next, the duo decides to sing to make the time go faster, so they make up a song or two. Finally, Elephant and Monkey encounter three wildcats who decide that Monkey might be an ideal afternoon snack. Of course, Elephant makes sure that doesn't happen!

In the end, the pair finds shade and their friendship has weathered some of the little problems that the search for shade created. Elephant and Monkey cuddle together and reaffirm the fact that they really do like one another very much.

This may not be the most inspired text ever penned for a young reader, but with plenty of word repetition, short sentences and a manageable vocabulary, it is a fairly easy book for a beginning reader. To build confidence, Monkey and Elephant might be a good transition book to more challenging (and interesting) reading matter.

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