Sunday 6 June 2021

Grumpy Monkey – Party Time

Grumpy Monkey – Party Time by Suzanne and Max Lang (Scholastic Press) PB RRP $17.99 ISBN: 9781760975104

Reviewed by Jeffery E Doherty

Grumpy Monkey – Party Time, is a delightful book about overcoming anxiety and learning it is okay not to follow the crowd.

Jim Panzee receives an invitation to Porcupine’s party, but he is anxious about going because he doesn’t know how to dance. His friends all try to teach Jim some moves, and he is swept along by their enthusiasm, all the way to the party. Unable to bear it any longer, Jim’s declaration that he doesn’t want to be there is met with disbelief… until some of the other animals confess that they are uncomfortable too.

Grumpy Monkey – Party Time is not a picture book that can be quietly to a child at bedtime (if you really want them to go to sleep). I read this to kindergarten and year one children at school and found myself being dragged into the story, doing all the voices and actions. I had to stop at times to let the children catch their breath and gather them back in as they were literally rolling around on the floor in hysterics. At the end, I was met with calls of “Read it again.”

The team at Scholastic who put this book together have done a wonderful job. Suzanne Lang’s story is tight and funny and the illustrations by Max Lang are bold and bright and suit the text perfectly. The design elements with the huge fold out centre pages add to the overall appeal. I highly recommend this book. It is one that adults will love reading to their children.

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