Monday, November 9, 2009

Nonfiction Monday -- Never Smile at a Monkey

Never Smile at a Monkey and 17 Other Important Things to Remember, written and illustrated by Steve Jenkins. NY: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2009. Available now.

Oh my. Steve Jenkin's cut paper illustrations for his nonfiction books only get better and better. Clever librarians will place this book on display with both the front and back covers showing, because it's a two-parter. The words before the "and" are on the front with a perfectly normal monkey face. Take a peek at the back cover and don't drop the book -- as a monkey face seems to attack with all teeth showing, ready to chomp a chunk out of you.

There are many animals that don't seem dangerous -- but they are. Jenkins discusses one per page (Okay, some are double page spreads) using clever titles like "Never corner a cassowary," "Never pet a platypus," or "Never clutch a cane toad." (I do love alliteration.) You'd never believe it, but most of these things can kill you -- or at least create pain and agony.

For those who would like even more information, he includes additional paragraphs at the back of the book along with illustrations showing the animals in their attack modes, plus a short reading list.

When I checked to see if I could capture a back cover for you to see (they didn't have it), I discovered that Betsy Bird (writer of A Fuse #8 Production blog) already did one of her marvelous reviews of this book, way back in September. The only excuse I have for being slow to notice this book is that it didn't arrive in my library branch until now.

More Nonfiction Monday books are listed at Abby (the) Librarian.
-wendie old

No comments: