Lucky Monkey, Unlucky Monkey [NOOK Book]

Overview

This story is about Ed and Ted, two thinking, speaking, fully clothed, house-dwelling monkeys. One day, Ed walks out of his just-the-right-size-for-a-monkey house. He is greeted by a bright, sunny day, with butterflies fluttering about and cute, friendly animals cheerfully hopping around.
Meanwhile . . . Ted walks out of his just-the-right-size-for-a-monkey house and is met by a forbidding sky with dark clouds, large insects swarming about, and...

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Lucky Monkey, Unlucky Monkey

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Overview

This story is about Ed and Ted, two thinking, speaking, fully clothed, house-dwelling monkeys. One day, Ed walks out of his just-the-right-size-for-a-monkey house. He is greeted by a bright, sunny day, with butterflies fluttering about and cute, friendly animals cheerfully hopping around.
Meanwhile . . . Ted walks out of his just-the-right-size-for-a-monkey house and is met by a forbidding sky with dark clouds, large insects swarming about, and frightening vermin crawling around.

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Editorial Reviews

Carolyn Hax
Like any good children's book, it's silly, it's fresh, it's told at kid-level, it teaches without preaching (the theme here is the changeability of circumstances), and it throws many bones to the adult reader
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

At first glance, Ed and Ted seem cut from the same cloth: they are both "thinking, speaking, fully clothed, house-dwelling monkeys." But Ed is a lucky monkey. When he meets a strange dog, it is friendly and playful; when he finds a treasure chest in the woods, an elf praises him. Ted, however, is unlucky. The dog he encounters chases him right into a gang of even fiercer animals, and a violent troll accuses him of stealing his treasure chest, forcing Ted to take refuge in a swamp. Kaczman's (A Bird and His Worm) acrylic paintings, set up as pairs of tableaux-one idyllic, the other gloomy-feature nattily attired animals and give the book the feel of a wry, winking primer. At the bottom of several pages, woodland creatures offer such reality-check observations as: "In children's stories, elves often live in mushrooms.... This does not quite make sense if one thinks about it. A mushroom would actually be a rather unpleasant place to live, because mushrooms are damp and mushy inside." By mirroring each monkey's adventures in both text and art, Kaczman plays up the contrast as the monkeys' fortunes continue to diverge over the course of the day. An epilogue reveals luck's fleeting nature by switching the monkeys' fates the following morning. A well-executed exercise in irony, this seems better aimed to hipster parents than to kids. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Daniel Kenya
Ted and Ed, two well dressed monkeys, start a typical day. It turns out that one has the best day of his life, while the other struggles to simply make it till the next day. Throughout the story, the author stresses duality by involving the two monkeys in similar circumstances with completely opposite outcomes. For example, during his walk, Ed finds a chest full of treasure behind a tree. As he opens it, his friends cheerfully praise him and decide to plan a party to celebrate Ed's good fortune. On the other hand, when Ted finds a chest full of treasure, instead of praising him, some bystanders accuse him of stealing and chase Ted away. Ironically, the story ends when a new day begins and the fates of the two monkeys switch, making Ted favored to have a good day. The illustrations are extraordinary, and at the bottom of pages, there are explanations regarding the pictures. The pages telling about Ted's day all have the face of a sun, and in contrast, the pages telling about Ed's day all have a rain cloud. I enjoyed the story and would recommend it to young children looking for something simple and relaxing. Reviewer: Daniel Kenya
School Library Journal

PreS- This didactic story uses a simplistic plot to hammer home the theme that your outlook on life will affect the type of day you will have. The parallel tales of two "thinking, speaking, fully clothed, house-dwelling monkeys" are told side-by-side in six short chapters illustrated with stylized, acrylic pictures. Ed wakes up to a sunny day, is followed by friendly critters, finds a treasure, and is made an honorary king by some happy woodland elves before returning home. Meanwhile, Ted is greeted by clouds, creepy bugs, and slimy slugs; chased by several angry animals; finds a treasure owned by a troll who wants to eat him; jumps into a mucky swamp to avoid him; and returns home in shabby, torn clothes. But on the last page, their fates appear to change as Ed expects a bad day and Ted decides it will be a good day. The rather pedestrian plot is accompanied by boxed commentary in tiny print that is distracting. The one-dimensional story and stilted drawings are unlikely to hold a child's interest. Stick with Aesop's Fables if you are looking for stories with a moral.-Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT

Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In this exploration into the nature of luck, Ed and Ted seem alike in most ways, but one is lucky, the other unlucky. Ed greets the sunny day with cheer, while Ted's day is filled with clouds. As the day progresses, Ed makes friends and finds treasure. Ted, meanwhile, is chased by enemies and a club-swinging troll, until he lands in a foul-smelling swamp. The following day their situations reverse and their moods invert: Ed's bleak day is unlucky; Ted's bright day is lucky. Kaczman's flat, stylized illustrations are handsomely modern. Told in six short chapters and an epilogue, rich with symbols, words and pictures to compare and contrast and assisted by the humorous (lightly instructional) asides of tiny animals, this might puzzle those who believe you make your own luck. The message that if today is unlucky, tomorrow could be lucky carries a certain satisfying verisimilitude, but beware, the contrary may not seem as pleasantly acceptable. (Picture book. 5-8)
From the Publisher
"A well-executed exercise in irony." Publishers Weekly 01/07/2008 Publishers Weekly

"Kaczman's flat, stylized illustrations are handsomely modern...rich with symbols, words and pictures to compare and contrast..." Kirkus 3/1/08

Kirkus Reviews

"The story ends cleverly...watercolor-and-ink art effectively uses color to establish the contrast in luck." Booklist 3/15/08 Booklist, ALA

“…it's silly, it's fresh, it's told at kid-level, it teaches without preaching…and it throws many bones to the adult reader.” The Washington Post

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547528984
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 3/21/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 8 - 10 Years
  • File size: 12 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

James Kaczman received a bachelor of fine arts degree from Massachusetts College of Art in 1982 and also studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. He lives in a beautiful, green valley somewhere in the North, where he is a full-time illustrator. He resides there with his wife, Libby, his son, Henry, and a wire fox terrier named Chauncey, who is a funny, charming fellow.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2013

    THIS IS A HORRIBLE BOOK I cant even find the first page Summer of the Wolves is way better

    I WOULD RATHER WATCH A LITTLE KID MOVIE INSTEAD OF THIS!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 3, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jennifer Wardrip, aka "The Genius" for Kids @ TeensReadToo.com

    In this charming story, we witness the side-by-side day of two monkeys, Ed and Ted. Ed's day starts out rather splendid, while Ted's day, on the other hand, is not so splendid, indeed. <BR/><BR/>What follows is the day's adventures with Ed and Ted, with the nice and not so nice characters they meet, and the fun and not so fun predicaments they get themselves into. <BR/><BR/>My children enjoyed LUCKY MONKEY, UNLUCKY MONKEY, especially the humorous sidebars filled with such illuminating information as "it's difficult for monkeys to make everything they say rhyme all the time," and "it is an extremely bad idea to play with a strange dog that is growling and snarling so that its large, sharp white teeth show." <BR/><BR/>This is a fun book for kids of all ages, especially those who may feel that a bad day will never end. Trust Ed and Ted -- for every bad day, there's a good one. And sometimes, even good days end on a decidedly bad note!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2008

    This book is a keeper!

    As someone who both reads, writes, and illustrates children's books, I recommend this book most highly. 'Lucky Monkey, Unlucky Monkey' is a witty, entertaining look at the nature of luck. In facing page illustrations, it contrasts and compares a very good day and a very bad day in the lives of two well-dressed monkeys. Things go from good to better and bad to worse in an absurd, funny plot in which the two storylines briefly intersect in a clever visual gag. The plot, by using two very similar characters doing very similar things and getting two very different results, amusingly explores the random, often unfair nature of luck. If there is any lesson to the story, it is that much of what happens during a day is a matter of chance... everybody has some good luck and some bad luck, and sometimes you have to persevere through the bad luck to get to the good luck. Younger children will enjoy the funny, entertaining adventure, while older children will also appreciate more of the references, humor and irony. Both children and adults will giggle while searching for the subtle and silly visual details that enrich each page of this book. This is a beautifully designed book with refreshing, clever illustrations. With a nod to traditional realism but enlivened with a modernist twist, the acrylic paintings have alternately brightly colored hues and muted tones. The book has also been crafted with unusual attention to detail, such as an elegantly designed silver foil hardcover beneath the dustjacket, an increasing rarity these days. With hilarious and ironic illustrated footnotes that children absolutely love, funny little diagrams, elegant typography, an exquisitely rendered printer¿s mark, and various symbols of good luck and bad luck, it is a visual and literary keeper. Lucky Monkey, Unlucky Monkey is a very funny book, beautifully illustrated and designed, that both children and adults will simply love to read together.

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