FICTION

Mad About Monkeys

illus. by Owen Davey. 40p. Flying Eye Books. Aug. 2015. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781909263574.
COPY ISBN
Gr 3–6—Davey's striking illustrations and bold graphic design are the highlights of this compendium of facts about monkeys. He devotes the most sustained attention to distinctions between Old World and New World monkeys, providing clear explanations of how the groups differ. However, not all the monkeys he includes later in the book receive those designations. Four types of monkeys are highlighted in one-to-two page long "Featured Creatures" sections. Many others receive brief entries, which stress such attributes as "longest tail" or "best facial hair." Davey provides overviews of monkeys' social life and use of tools, touches on their inclusion in myths, and emphasizes the threats of deforestation to monkey populations. He deftly draws on their varied and unusual physical features to produce eye-catching images that will attract browsers. However, the chart of primate groups is confusing, with ascending brackets that seem to indicate that one group developed from another. The so-called index is really a classified listing of monkeys by family and subfamily, and the text includes some grammatical slips.
VERDICT As a supplemental title, this book may pique readers' curiosity about monkeys, but it does not provide a consistently unified introduction to the topic. Consider for collections where examples of fine contemporary graphic design are in demand.

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