Monkey-ing Around

My boys are incredibly active.  Any and everything can be used as: a fort, a weapon or a smashing device.  Between the activities of the morning and “quiet” time in the afternoon (a mom can dream!), the three of us pile onto someone’s bed to read stories.  My boys are drawn to stories about monkeys.  They find monkeys and their antics undeniably amusing.  Perhaps they were monkeys in a past life?  I wouldn’t be surprised considering how quickly they can climb and swing from one piece of furniture to the next.

Here are a few of our favourite monkey stories:

5 Little Monkeys Eileen Christelow (ISBN: 0547131763)

Pretty much every North American adult has grown up with the cautionary tale about the five monkeys who jump on the bed, fall off and bump their heads.  My boys laugh when I put on the “doctor” voice and wave my index finger, “No more monkeys jumping on the bed”.  It’s also a great story to have on CD for car rides.  Variations on this classic abound!  Find your favourite and let us know.

Hand, Hand, Fingers Thumb Al Perkins (ISBN: 0679890483)

No one tells this story quite like my mother-in-law, but in all fairness she has had years of practice.  The rhythm and the rhyme are great fun but, be warned:  once it gets stuck in your head it is lodged there longer than any Treehouse tune.

Monkey and Me Emily Gravett (ISBN: 1416954570)

This is a new addition to our library.  My brother’s girlfriend always seems to find the boys books that instantly become their new favourites.  This story is about a little girl and her monkey who venture to the zoo.  The repetitive verse will have your child reading along with you after just a few pages.

Do you have any other favourite monkey books?  Pass them along.  I know that I can recite these three without even cracking the covers and I am looking for others to add to the nightly ritual.


8 thoughts on “Monkey-ing Around

  1. I’m glad that the boys like the Monkey book! I must admit, I was inspired to buy it because of Sam’s ape qualities :).

  2. There is a great book by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler called Monkey Puzzle. Gavin (2) loves it. A butterfly helps a young monkey find his Mum, but because the butterfly’s offspring do not look like the parent, he makes some amusing mistakes in trying to match child to parent. I like that it has an element of science in it, too: the life stages of the butterfly, the habits and habitats of various animals. And because it’s Julia Donaldson, she of Gruffalo fame, you can read the rhyming text over and over and over again. She’s also written Day Monkey, Night Monkey.

  3. Caps for Sale! Caps for Sale! It’s a wonderful story of a peddler who sells caps balanced on his head and some cheeky monkeys who like them too. A monkey see, monkey do story – the kids loved the “monkey” voice and body actions as we acted like the monkeys ourselves. It’s one of the few books that both my kids (4 and almost 2) enjoyed equally, in spite of their age difference. I can do no better than to refer you to Wee Folk Art’s review (, which is how I found the book myself.

  4. My son also loves “The Boy who Loved Bananas”. The little boy in the story eats so many bananas he turns into a monkey. Quite cute. It is up north and I can’t remember the author but I can get it if needed. Sarah

  5. Thanks for all of the great suggestions. I will be sure to look for them the next time that I am at the book store. Kids always seem to be the best critics of kids’ books. Go figure! So if your boys like these monkey books, I am sure that my monkeys will too.

  6. Curious George! How did I forget to mention the obsession the boys have with that little monkey?!? They alternate between calling him “that cute little monkey” and “that naughty little monkey”.

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