ARC Haiku Review: 100 Hungry Monkeys!

It’s Mad Martha here with you all to present another Haiku review.  Today I will be poetrising on the sumptuous feast for the eyeballs that is 100 Hungry Monkeys! by Masayuki Sebe.  I was lucky enough to receive a digital copy for review from the publisher via Netgalley – although I might have to buy a print copy too, because the illustrations are too good just to be viewed in screenish, pixely form.  To whet your appetite, here’s the cover:

100 MonkeysIsn’t it fantastic?! I love the main monkey doing Stayin’ Alive. Awesome.  But I digress.

100 Hungry Monkeys! is a search and find storybook that follows some adventurous monkeys (guess how many!) through an eventful quest to get some dinner.  Finding nosh to satisfy such a large troupe turns out to be the least of their worries however, as a close encounter with a monster has them shuffling quickly onward to an exciting climax!  Throughout the book there are lots of little questions and challenges to prompt keen-eyed mini-fleshlings to hunt for things in the packed-to-bursting double spread pages.  At the end of the story there are also a few extra challenges for those who feel the need to find every little thing hidden within the pictures.

To give you an idea of the scale of such a challenge, here is one of the double page spreads:

double page 100 hungry monkeysIt’s the kind of thing I can picture 5 to 8 year old boys taking one look at and saying, “I accept the challenge!”  Obviously, the text is somewhat secondary in a book like this, but the story is fun enough anyway to support the real amusement of searching and finding.  This is also a great book to help introduce the concept of “one hundred” which can often be tricky for young children.  Having a fun pictorial representation like this can really help to engage kids who are less than impressed with the whole idea of having to learn numeracy!

So without further ado, here is my haiku review:

Gauntlet thrown down by

Simian Centurion…

Better start counting!

I heartily recommend this one for reluctant readers in the 5 to 8 years age group, due to its attractive illustrations and the interactive nature of the text.  I heartily recommend it also to eager readers under the age of 8 years, for basically the same reasons.  I now must go forth and try and get my hands on other books by Masayuki Sebe (who seems to have a particular fondness for the number 100) for those times when my eyeballs are in need of some illustrative stimulation.  100 Hungry Monkeys! is due for publication on March 1st, so consider this fair warning to get your pre-orders in.

Au revoir readers!

Mad Martha

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