GRAPHIC NOVELS

Monkey & Robot: Friends and Neighbors

Creston. Oct. 2019. 64p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781939547590.
COPY ISBN
Gr 1-3–Robot is responsible and helpful, while Monkey is energetic and spontaneous. The humor in this chapter book comes from the juxtaposition of the two friends and their approaches to life, as well as mix-ups about the meaning of words. Monkey thinks the pest control man will read to the mice because he has come to “take care of them.” And when Robot says, “Not a word,” Monkey winds up on the floor kicking his feet and holding his own mouth shut to keep from speaking. Young readers often are confused by phrases with multiple meanings and will sympathize, while also laughing at Monkey’s mistakes. Along with the wordplay, the grayscale illustrations add depth and capture the expressive characters’ actions. The limited number of panels per page and the scenes depicting familiar situations such as babysitting, caring for pets, or celebrating birthdays make this perfect for children learning to read or encountering graphic novels for the first time. The humor is gentle, and Monkey, along with readers, learns from every mistake.
VERDICT Highly recommended for primary grades and newly independent readers.

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