Thursday, November 19, 2009

Never Smile at a Monkey

Steve Jenkins, how I love your books. This is another offering from one of my favorite artists. If you've never experienced Jenkins' awesome collage work, here's your chance to pick up his newest gem.

Never Smile at a Monkey * and 17 Other Important Things to Remember is a cool book about things you don't really want to do around animals. For example, never harass a hippo: Jenkins goes on to explain that hippos are among the nastiest customers you'd ever want to meet outside a nice, safe zoo. Likewise the beautiful yellow tang, which has two vicious barbs next to its tail that can seriously wound, even kill, the unwary. I was just at the pet store buying food for our psychotic crayfish when I noticed a yellow tang swimming around in a saltwater tank. I checked and sure enough, there were the barbs. Kinda makes you look at fish with a little more respect.

The whole book is a compendium of dangerous, poisonous and scary animals (cone shells, blue ringed octopi, monkeys [!]), making it one for older kids, not toddlers and babies. Like all Jenkins books, it's very informative in a way that will appeal to children. This one is on my gift list for my 1st grader, but I know my 3rd grader will enjoy it as well and I will be cooing over the stunning pictures right along with them. These books are always a pleasure to read and I am thrilled that he's got a new one out just in time for Christmas.

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