Fourteen Monkeys: A Rain Forest Rhyme by Melissa Stewart

Cover image for Fourteen Monkeys.

Fourteen Monkeys: A Rain Forest Rhyme by Melissa Stewart, illustrated by Steve Jenkins (9781534460393)

This picture book explores the fourteen species of monkey that all live together in Manu National Park in Peru. They all live in the rainforest together and survive successfully near one another thanks to their different diets, different heights for their habitats, and different body sizes. The day begins with the red howler monkeys who climb to the very tops of the trees to bellow. The spider monkeys live high up as well, searching for their favorite fruits. Down near the ground, sakis race and jump. Each monkey is shown with Jenkins’ detailed illustrations, their space in the rainforest documented, and their activities and diet explored. It’s a look at an entire community of monkeys all living happily as neighbors.

Stewart’s writing is clear and concise. She has a knack for sharing fascinating details about each monkey, such as how long the howlers rest each day (18 hours) and that capuchins will eat anything they can catch. The book offers layers of text, including basic text that could be shared aloud while the more detailed information is also there for those who want to explore it. Even more information is available at the end of the book along with additional resources.

As always, Jenkins’ illustrations done with paper art are phenomenal. He can make paper look furry, smooth, veined and fruity. He’s a master at the craft, creating animals that are realistic and artistic.

This book doesn’t monkey around, providing great information in a gorgeous format. Appropriate for ages 5-8.

Reviewed from copy provided by Beach Lane Books.

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