Looking for the Easy Life

Overview

Life's pretty good on Monkey Island. All day long, the monkeys sit around talking their monkey talk and enjoying their big-time monkey dreams.

That is, except Oswego Pete, who is one slick monkey.

He's bent on finding the Easy Life?a place where a monkey never has to bend ...

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Overview

Life's pretty good on Monkey Island. All day long, the monkeys sit around talking their monkey talk and enjoying their big-time monkey dreams.

That is, except Oswego Pete, who is one slick monkey.

He's bent on finding the Easy Life—a place where a monkey never has to bend all out of shape for a banana, or do any hard work, ever.

Is it where the high grass grows at the foot of the mountain?

Or down by the seaside?

Uh-Huh Freddie, the Chief Monkey, says easy isn't always good, and a little hard work's not always bad.

Who's right?

You will learn how to find the Easy Life in this witty adventure from popular author Walter Dean Myers and artist Lee Harper.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Oswego Pete, a stringy-looking monkey, sweet-talks his four monkey friends into setting off on a quest for the "Easy Life"; even stolid Uh-Huh Freddie, the chief monkey, gets suckered into the trip. But after a lion eats half of Oswego Pete's tail, a shark chomps off another quarter, and a group of Hip-Hop Hippos keep the monkeys as servants ("...it is not the life for no self-respecting monkey," Uh-Huh Freddie complains. "I got some big-time monkey dreams I need to get back to"), the whole gang realizes that the "Easy Life" may require some initiative after all. Myers (Muhammad Ali: The People's Champion) offers deft characterizations and quick retorts ("How come you ain't got no lips?" Oswego Pete asks the shark. "'Cause I don't want nothing between me and my lunch!"), and Harper's (Woolbur) animals grin and flirt engagingly. It's tough to side with responsible Uh-Huh Freddie when all the attention is focused on hapless Oswego Pete, but in a book far less serious than his norm, Myers demonstrates a profound talent for kid-pleasing humor—it's a story-time natural. Ages 4–8. (Feb.)
ALA Booklist
Praise for Ida B. Wells: “Masterful.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
Praise for Ida B. Wells: “Accessible to younger elementary audiences.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
Praise for Ida B. Wells: “Accessible to younger elementary audiences.”
School Library Journal
Gr 2–4—The monkeys on Monkey Island think they have it pretty good until Oswego Pete says he's looking to lead an "Easy Life." All he wants to do is lay back and relax. Uh-Huh Freddie, their leader, can see where this is going but when all the other monkeys agree with Oswego Pete, they set off to find another part of the island to find the Easy Life. On their way they come upon a lion who decides they would make a great dinner and after tousling with him, Oswego Pete ends up losing some of his tail. The lion won't give it back because he worked hard for it. And so it goes as they encounter a shark and some hip-hop hippos. By the end, the monkeys realize that working hard is not such a bad thing and they abandon their quest for a cushy life. This Aesop-like tale is written in African-American dialect, and Myers's turns of phrase are as funny as can be. It will make a great read-aloud. In case children miss the lesson, Uh-Huh Freddie sums it all up at the end of the story. The illustrations are cartoony and as silly as the monkeys in their colorful attire.—Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060543754
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/1/2011
  • Series: Looking at Other Countries Series
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 812,090
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 750L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Walter Dean Myers is the New York Times bestselling author of Monster, the winner of the first Michael L. Printz Award, the current National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, and inaugural NYC Literary Honoree. Myers has received every single major award in the field of children's literature. He is the author of two Newbery Honor Books and five Coretta Scott King Awardees. He is the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults and is a three-time National Book Award Finalist as well as the first-ever recipient of the Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement. He was the 2010 United States nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award, and is considered one of the preeminent writers for young people. Walter lives in Jersey City, New Jersey, with his family.

Lee Harper is an artist, teacher, and storyteller. Looking for the Easy Life is his fourth picture book. Lee also illustrated woolbur, by Leslie Helakoski, with "lumpy, expressive ovines, especially the wild-wooled Woolbur," that brought the "delightful tale of independence to life" (Kirkus Reviews); Turkey Trouble, by Wendi Silvano; and Snow! Snow! Snow!, the first book he both wrote and illustrated. Lee lives in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, with his family.

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