Animal Fair

Overview

In this adaptation of the popular children’s song “Animal Fair,” there are all kinds of animals doing silly things! The big baboon is combing his hair, the kangaroos are rattling spoons, the bears are juggling pears, and the chimps are swinging on the trapeze. Can you guess what happens to the mischievous monk . . . the monk, the monk, the monk? Cheerful illustrations bring this lively rendition to life.
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Overview

In this adaptation of the popular children’s song “Animal Fair,” there are all kinds of animals doing silly things! The big baboon is combing his hair, the kangaroos are rattling spoons, the bears are juggling pears, and the chimps are swinging on the trapeze. Can you guess what happens to the mischievous monk . . . the monk, the monk, the monk? Cheerful illustrations bring this lively rendition to life.
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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
Based on the children's song "Animal Fair," Goembel's adaptation adroitly posits the wild imaginings of a child: what might go on at afair apparently run by animals? The answer is nonsense, as virtually nothing the animals do makes a whit of sense. That, of course, is what will make young listeners squeal with glee. The text is wonderfully wordy and tied to an irresistible rhythm: "The bears came down the stairs / while juggling purple pairs. / The parrots squawked, they chattered and talked / as they stood on the back on their chairs." Goembel's ink and acrylic wash has an appealing orderliness to it; the animals tend to dress alike and stand in straight lines as if even their misbehavior is part of a rehearsed act. As lovers of the song know, it all comes to a head when the "mischievous monk" jumps on the elephant's trunk—and, well, that's all she wrote for that poor monkey. A silly, catchy little number with enough visual quirks to keep kids returning for one more curtain call.
Children's Literature - Anita Barnes Lowen
Young readers will love going to the fair in this adaptation of the traditional children's song "Animal Fair." The birds and beasts are still there as is the big baboon who, in the light of the moon, combs his auburn hair, but now they are joined by bears, kangaroos, parrots, chimps, seals, and toucans all dressed up and all doing very silly things. "The bears came down the stairs while juggling purple pears. The parrots squawked, they chattered and talked as they stood on the back of their chairs." Of course, the "monk" is very much in the picture. In fact, the mischievous monkey appears somewhere—sometimes only his paws or the back of his head can be seen—in each illustration. In the end, of course, he foolishly jumps on the elephant's trunk only to be blown away when the elephant sneezes: "and that was the end of the monk, the monk, the monk." Bright illustrations—colored ink lines with acrylic wash paint—fill each double-page spread and are sure to catch and hold the attention of the youngest readers or listeners. Reviewer: Anita Barnes Lowen
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—This adaptation of the folk song details the surreal sights on a child's visit to an animal fair. The silliness includes a big baboon "combing his auburn hair," kangaroos rattling "six silver spoons," and bears walking down stairs "while juggling purple pears." Goembel's ink and acrylic illustrations have a cheeky appeal. Readers will spot a mischievous monkey in the background up to such tricks as making rabbit-ear fingers behind the baboon's head and tying a balloon to a kangaroo's tail. He gets his comeuppance when he jumps on the elephant's trunk and is blown away by the resulting sneeze: "and that was the end of the monk,/the monk, the monk, the monk./And that was the end of the monk!" Although no sheet music is included, this is a good addition to storytime playlists.—Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada
Kirkus Reviews
Expanded from the traditional three-liner used more in modern times as a nursery rhyme than a song, Goembel adds to the animal hijinks by taking the nonsense lyrics and using her bright ink-and-acrylic wash illustrations to provide a unifying narrative. The animals at this fair are focused on their performances, unaware of the mischievous monkey's tricks. The seals sing and blow up pink balloons, at least one of which sails across each successive double-page spread, while monkey lurks, entertaining himself by tying one on father kangaroo's tail or waiting for the bears, who are descending the stairs "while juggling purple pears," to slip on a well-placed banana peel. The monkey is everywhere, the clean compositions just busy enough to provide the right level of challenge for toddlers to spot the tricky simian. But if there is ever any confusion in readers' minds as to why he gets his comeuppance, the illustrations more than explain why "the elephant sneezed and fell on his knees," shooting the still-grinning monkey high into the air and far away from the fair. A pleasant rollick. (Picture book. 1-3)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761456421
  • Publisher: Amazon Childrens Publishing
  • Publication date: 3/1/2010
  • Series: Pinwheel Bks.
  • Pages: 24
  • Sales rank: 930,353
  • Age range: 4 years
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Ponder Goembel has illustrated a number of picture books for children. In this cheery rendition of the popular children’s song, she has created a cast of lively circus animals, sure to please young and old.
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