In our house at the moment there are two books we read with every meal, The Gruffalo and Monkey Puzzle, both wonderful picture books for children by the fabulous Julia Donaldson. This is a lady who has a way with words that entrances children, especially mine! We cannot get enough of her books but at the moment are focusing on The Gruffalo, which we now all know by heart, and Monkey Puzzle.
As soon as William sees this book, he says, in a small squeaky monkey voice, ‘I’ve lost my mum’ and so the story begins.
Monkey Book, as it is called in our house, tells the tale of a young monkey who has lost his mummy and daddy. He searches through the jungle for them with the help of a friendly butterfly.
The tale unfolds in rhythmical rhyming verse with the brightly coloured, fun illustrations synonomous of Julia Donaldson’s collection of children’s books.
The baby monkey tries to tell the butterfly about his mummy and she tries hard to match him to the correct adult animal. Poor little monkey tries desperately to explain that his mummy is not an elephant or a spider or a snake.
At last he explains that his mummy looks like him and this leads them on to find his daddy and finally be reunited with his mum.
The story unfolds to show that butterfly babies do not look or behave like their mummy at all.
Esther and William now exclaim when they see this page, not caterpillars, but ‘butterfly babies!’
We even read ‘The Very Hungry Butterfly Baby’ in our house now!
Julia Donaldson’s Monkey Puzzle, as well as being a lovely story about babies and their mummies, has led us to some lovely family activities.
We have made some cards of baby animals and adult animals so that Esther and William can practise matching the babies to their mummies. We have also painted butterflies. I used to love doing this is a child and now Esther and William love doing it too. Esther and William also act out the story with their toy monkeys. It is funny listening to them try out different voices.
Esther and William have a huge appetite for stories and books and at the moment this is definitely one of their favourites. Especially as we usually follow our reading with singing and dancing to Five Little Monkeys and the Jungle Boogie!
We have lots of jungle books that live in a basket with this one including Giraffes Can’t Dance which Esther and William adore and know parts of off by heart. We love a book that rhymes in this house as it really helps Esther and William to extend their vocabulary and be able to join in with the retelling of a tale.
This book is currently available for just £3.46 at Tesco Direct and for the amount of fun and joy and learning this story brings I think it is an absolute steal!
This post was written as part of the Tots 100 Book Club Summer Reading Challenge