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[The authors] found that 60 percent of the kindergartners in neighborhoods where children did poorly in school did not... More

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Author: Laurel Neme

Illustrator: Kathie Kelleher

Reserve at the Library

Publisher: Bunker Hill Publishing Inc. 2014

Material: hard cover

Summary: Fu Manchu the orangutan hides a tiny wire in his mouth and uses it to pick the lock to escape his cage at a zoo. He doesn't run away from the zoo, he just goes to the treetops by the elephants and waits for the zookeepers to find him. This is a nonfiction picture book with the true story of this escape artist.

Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, playtime reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 5 to 10; read yourself: 9 to 12

Interest Level: 6 to 10

Reading Level: 4.6

Age of Child: Read with a 6-year-old boy and his Kindergarten class.

Young Reader Reaction: My son absolutely loved this book! He loved it so much that I read it to his Kindergarten class on my assigned guest reader day.

Adult Reader Reaction: I really liked this book. I love the non-fiction component of it and how smart it portrays the orangutan. I was surprised that as long as the book was, my child wanted to read it again as soon as we finished.

Pros: Everyone can enjoy this nonfiction story about an orangutan who escapes his cage at the zoo.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. It's a great story for children to read once or twice.

If You Liked This Book, Try: ANIMALS (Navigator Series)   ANIMAL TAILS   WHAT'S NEW AT THE ZOO; An Animal Adding Adventure

Educational Themes: At the end of the book, readers can learn more about Fu Manchu. This is a story that could be a launchpad for other books about amazing animals.

Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

Literary Categories: Nonfiction - picture book, animals

Date(s) Reviewed: August 2015

Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at and


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