Candlewick. Sept. 2021. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781536220247.
K-Gr 2–Three mischievous blue monkeys are warned to stay away from the mango tree—that’s where the tigers live. But their curiosity is piqued—they simply must go to the mango tree! Tigers chase the monkeys away, and they scamper back up their home tree to safety. The text is pleasingly repetitive and the illustrations provide humorous visuals to keep readers poring over the pages. “No tigers here!” the monkeys cheer, but sharp-eyed little ones will spot the striped felines lurking in the bushes. Haughton’s artwork is even more bold here than in past titles. The characters have no outlines, but their colors are carefully chosen so that they stand out or blend into the environment as appropriate.The monkeys are composed of cool indigo, blue, and green tones; the tigers in shadow are purple to blend in with the magenta backdrop. When the fierce beasts emerge, the oranges and yellows clash brilliantly with the purple environment, creating a strong sense of drama during the climactic chase. An epigraph from Aristotle appears on the copyright page: “For the things we have to learn before we can do, we learn by doing.” The story acts more as a celebration of curiosity than a warning about the dangers of misbehaving. In fact, when the monkeys are told about a nearby banana tree at the end of the book, they are eager for another adventure.
VERDICT Worth a purchase wherever Haughton’s books are popular.

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