A Book of Monkeys (and Other Primates)

Laurence King. Oct. 2022. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781510230149.
K-Gr 2–Serving as an introduction to primates from the tiny pygmy marmoset to the massive gorilla, this book reveals to readers fun facts and fascinating tidbits in snippets of information around colorful illustrations. A helpful table of contents organizes the content by types of primates, their eating habits, intelligence, and social life. The last section addresses the possible future of these diverse animals. It discloses that, with diminishing habitats and illegal hunting practices, and without human intervention, their continuation does not look hopeful. The illustrations are detailed and the content appears to be well researched. However, most likely in an attempt at whimsy and humor, the primates are often anthropomorphized in a distracting manner. The insertions of speech bubbles, megaphones, knitting needles, and neck scarves is forced and trivializes fascinating scientific information such as the note about chimpanzees (species pan troglodytes) stating that having a drill would make digging insects out of their nests much easier. The book’s end sheets feature a world map depicting the locations of some of the primates’ natural habitats. Unfortunately, both the capuchin monkey and squirrel monkey are shown to be found in North America. This is incorrect. As the text itself notes, their natural habitats are Central and South America.
VERDICT This title’s introductory construct and strong visual appeal make it an adequate choice for larger collections desiring to build their animal books section.

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