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COURAGE THE MONKEY

Author: Mark Jordan

Illustrator: Mark Jordan

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Publisher: Decere Publishing,

Material: paperback

Summary: Jonathan, a spider monkey, is excited. He is about to turn 11, and then he'll be able to climb his first tree. But when that day came, Jonathan was too scared. Even encouragement from his brother David couldn't help. He was so embarrassed he stopped playing with his friends and spent his days alone. Then one day, he heard David crying for help. Could Jonathan get to the tree to help him? This is a picture-book story with an inspirational message.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, playtime reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 7 to 9

Interest Level: 4 to 8

Age of Child: Started reading with a child nearly six years old.

Young Reader Reaction: Our child loves Jonathan and this book. We read it at least once a day, and s/he selected it as one of three books to take on vacation for a long weekend.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is a nice story ... and perfectly timed for our house, as our Kindergartener is facing his/her own challenges in trying something that is new (like swim team). Even though Jonathan is turning 11, younger kids will immediately empathize with him.

Pros: The story is well presented and has a positive message. The illustrations complement the text without "robbing" the story, and the text is large ... perfect for new readers!

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. This is a book that will grow with your child, particularly in the early years of school when there are always new things, challenges, and self-doubts in their personal worlds.

If You Liked This Book, Try: SHELBY   OLIVER FINDS HIS WAY   LIZZY AND SKUNK

Educational Themes: The story very comfortably opens the door to talk about fear, trying new things, persevering, and faith in one's self; all in a way that children (from preschool to elementary school) can understand.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, animal characters, friendship, life lessons, emotions

Date(s) Reviewed: July 2007

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