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Courage the Monkey    by Mark Jordan order for
Courage the Monkey
by Mark Jordan
Order:  USA  Can
Decere, 2006 (2006)
*   Reviewed by Kerrily Sapet

Jonathan is an 11-year-old spider monkey who is afraid to climb the tallest tree in town, a ritual of passage. While his younger brother David encourages him to rise above his fears, Jonathan feels terrible. He is a failure. He spends his days staring at colorful clouds in his village atop high Mount Kenomy. But one day when his brother David needs help, Jonathan is spurred into action.

Author Mark Jordan's tale of Courage the Monkey shows bravery under duress. Jonathan is forced to confront his fears in order to save the brother that he loves. Despite his and David's cries, as David is stuck on a mountain, no one from the village hears them. When Jonathan helps David to safety, he earns himself the very feeling and nickname he had been lacking. From then on, the spider monkey villagers call him Courage the Monkey.

Jordan tells a kind story about facing fears. However the characters have little development. Jonathan's leap to courage also seems abrupt, without his having made any attempts at climbing. The tale requires a reader's leap of faith, especially as spider monkeys are excellent climbers from an early age. However, for young children, the book is a gentle, inspiring story about a monkey facing his fears to save someone he loves.

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