Emily Goes Wild

Emily Goes Wild

5.0 1
by Betty Lou Phillips, Sharon Watts
Fall in love with Emily, an irresistible monkey with a taste for beignets and mischief, and Madame Dubois, the refined New Orleans matriarch who cares for her.


Fall in love with Emily, an irresistible monkey with a taste for beignets and mischief, and Madame Dubois, the refined New Orleans matriarch who cares for her.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
K-Gr 3 - Madame DuBois's monkey is going wild. Instead of happily shopping in New Orleans, eating beignets at the CafA(c) du Monde, painting pictures with Mme., and making small mischief once in a while, Emily is being very naughty. When a frantic phone call to the vet helps Mme. realize that her pet is missing interaction with other monkeys, her owner sadly donates her to the Audubon Zoo. Second thoughts send Mme. to retrieve Emily, but a wise curator helps find a perfect solution for both owner and animal. This oversized book is illustrated with colorful cartoon illustrations, which contain scattered French words and labels, and seem a trifle too busy. The story is overlong and ends rather abruptly. The format irritates a little with two foldout pages - one sideways and one up and down - which would be difficult to handle in a storytime, plus a text that changes fonts, dips, and circles in a light print that is sometimes hard to read. However, children will probably enjoy Emily's antics and learn a lesson about keeping wild animals as pets.
Publishers Weekly
In her first children's book, interior designer Phillips (French by Design) introduces a character who seems at first to have much in common with other exuberant cosmopolitan picture-book youngsters. Emily and her blonde guardian, Madame DuBois, live in a sumptuous New Orleans apartment, wear fabulous clothes and eat delicacies at famous restaurants. But Emily is a monkey, and she can't help getting up to monkey business. One terrible day she flushes Madame DuBois's glasses down the toilet. Here Phillips gives her fluffy characters a bracing dose of reality. Madame DuBois realizes Emily needs to be with other monkeys and brings her to the zoo. Courteous zoo officials prevent the anguished Madame DuBois from taking Emily home again when the monkey has trouble adapting ("Wild animals do not make good house pets. That is one reason we have so many monkeys here," one says firmly). Only after Emily has fully adapted to the zoo do the officials relent, but by then Madame DuBois realizes that her beloved monkey is happiest in the zoo. Debut artist Watts's swoopy retro ink sketches are right off the sides of department-store shopping bags. She pictures Madame DuBois in a parade of Chanel suits and matching half-glasses (she modeled the character, she says, on Carrie Donovan), and she uses horizontal and vertical gatefolds to do justice to Emily's monkeyshines. The drawings are just right for the fantasy-like elements, and their madcap tone softens the realistic second half. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Emily is a preposterously pampered pet monkey, whose doting guardian, Madame DuBois, sews frilly outfits for her late into the night and obligingly serves her elaborate meals in bed. But Emily is nonetheless naughty, and at one point her mischief occupies a fold-out quadruple-page spread. But when Emily crowns her misbehavior by flushing Madame Dubois's favorite bracelet down the toilet, Madame Dubois consults with the veterinarian and sadly takes Emily to the zoo, where she can engage in more appropriate monkey behavior, such as climbing trees and chattering with other monkeys. The adjustment period is long and lonely for Emily and Madame Dubois alike, but just as Madame Dubois is ready to take Emily home again, she discovers Emily happily playing with her new friends and decides to join the zoo herself as a volunteer. The story has a delightful French flavor (Madame Dubois has moved to New Orleans from Paris), and the illustrations explode with the frenetic liveliness of Emily's energetic exploits. But it's quite sad to see the two friends separated: will child readers wonder if they, too, will be sent away from home for excessive naughtiness? And a cage in a zoo seems a depressing substitute both for the wild and for a home with someone who loves you. 2003, Gibbs Smith, Ages 4 to 8.
—Claudia Mills

Product Details

Smith, Gibbs Publisher
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
9.50(w) x 12.00(h) x 0.31(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Read an Excerpt

Emily twirled in the mirror. She loved the new tutu Madame DuBois made for her to wear.
"Oooo la la ! Divine," said Madame DuBois, approvingly."

Emily had come to live with Madame DuBois as a baby, shortly before the two moved to New Orleans from Paris. Madame DuBois loved the little monkey with all her heart. It seemed Emily loved Madame DuBois, too.

Often, Madame DuBois worked into the night stitching pajamas and frilly dresses for Emily. "Oooo la la. Emily will look divine," she said. Then she made a polka-dot bikini for her to brave the summer heat and a shiny red coat with a hood for rainy days.

Meet the Author

Award-winning designer and best-selling author, Betty Lou Phillips is a professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers. With projects from New York to California, her work has been featured in countless magazines, as well as in her numerous home design books on French and Italian style. Interiors by Design--her 13th design book-is the ultimate guide to home décor. Additionally, she has appeared on the Christopher Lowell Show and the Oprah Winfrey Show. She lives in Dallas, Texas.

Betty Lou Phillips is the author of Emily Goes Wild!, an illustrated children's book, and co-author of The Night Before Christmas in Paris. Later this year Gibbs Smith Publisher will release her Night Before Christmas in New York and Night Before Christmas in Texas.

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Emily Goes Wild 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is the new favorite bedtime read. The kids are just wild about Emily. She is delightful. They love seeing the life that Emily lives. And the antics that she gets up to. (All beautifully illustrated!)