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Monkey Photo
     

Monkey Photo

by Swarna Chitrakar (Illustrator), Gita Wolf (Text by)
 

Monkey lives in a jungle that tourists love to visit. But he’s getting tired of them taking pictures of him all the time—especially since he never gets to see the results! So he decides to help himself to a camera and swing around the jungle, surprising friends and foes . . .

Here, Mr Monkey
Me too, please!
Look at my

Overview

Monkey lives in a jungle that tourists love to visit. But he’s getting tired of them taking pictures of him all the time—especially since he never gets to see the results! So he decides to help himself to a camera and swing around the jungle, surprising friends and foes . . .

Here, Mr Monkey
Me too, please!
Look at my spots
I can say 'cheese'!

Illustrated by Swarna Chitrakar in the brilliant Patua style of folk art from Bengal, and featuring verse by Gita Wolf, Monkey Photo records jungle life at its hilarious best.

A unique "jungle" art gallery featuring portraits of animals caught off-guard, this is a show that is sure to delight young readers.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Folk art usually adorns vessels or textiles, but here it’s a powerful vehicle for a story. Indian painter Chitrakar’s indigenous folk-style animals gape and twirl; their huge eyes are always wide open, and their red tongues curl out of their mouths, exposing rows of white teeth. Their coats are adorned with stripes and dots and thin lines, or with layers of scales or feathers. Wolf’s story, by contrast, is almost incidental. A monkey grabs a camera from a tourist and begins to shoot pictures of his friends. The animals react just as humans might; some are angry—“Go away, Monkey! No photo!”—but others vie for his attention: “Look at us, Mr Monkey! Monkey, photo!” At the end, the animals view Monkey’s photos hanging in a tree; they’re all closeups, crammed into their frames. There are moments of light humor to be found in the animals’ outsize expressions as they mug for the camera, but several animals will simply be unidentifiable to kids and parents. While some will find the artwork challenging, others will marvel at its visual power. Ages 8-up. (May)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
In these terse, sometimes silly rhymes, a monkey tires of watching people taking photos of him. He wants to take his own. He acquires a camera, and then requests a smile from the tigers who growl at him until he runs away. While he is photographing snakes, frogs try to get his attention, as do other animals. The monkey snaps them all, including the elephants. He then sets up an exhibition of his photographs. All the animals come to see their pictures and thank him for the show. Thick black outlines and opaque paints are employed in a distinctive Patua folk style from Bengal that emphasizes decorative expressiveness rather than naturalism. There is a comic playfulness to the menacing tigers with their flat, toothy, mask-like faces and large, staring eyes. The coiled snake is handsomely covered with multiple lines of dots but has a humanoid head. The end pages are filled with rows of the brown image of Mr. Monkey snapping photos; the title page shows him camera in hand, overshadowed by a fierce snake. The double-page scene of his photography show depicts many of the animals and their pictures in a lively and humorous togetherness. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS—Hijinks abound in this spare tale as a monkey, tired of being photographed, grabs a tourist's camera and turns it on tigers, frogs, elephants, and other animals. Some of them are gleeful and others are displeased. Finally, after his swing around the jungle, Monkey hangs his photos on a tree where everyone gathers to view themselves and revel in Monkey's accomplishments. This is a slight story, but the strong-lined, brightly colored illustrations provide a path to introduce children to the brilliant patua folk style of Bengal.—Barbara Elleman, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, MA
Kirkus Reviews
Mr. Monkey-usually the subject of tourists' photos-becomes the photographer in this playful animal tale. Ferocious tigers, colorful frogs and slithering snakes clamor for a close-up, while Monkey snaps away. While not every creature is camera-ready; all are delighted when they see their portraits on display. Chitrakar uses Indian, folk-style artwork to tell this modern story. Large, flat blocks of primal colors, richly decorated with repeating line-work, depict standard zoo animals in a lighthearted, refreshing light. The graphic nature of the shapes and patterns lend themselves to interesting, energetic compositions, offering much to readers who might see themselves in the creatures' reactions to Monkey and his pictures. Unfortunately, it appears that in the editing process a few of the illustrations were cropped in, making the resolution slightly blurry. Despite this quibble, the spirited monkey and his friends lend themselves to a very satisfying story. (Picture book. 3-6)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9788190754620
Publisher:
Tara Books
Publication date:
05/01/2010
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
7.10(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 6 Years

Meet the Author


Swarna Chitrakar is an artist producing vibrant work in the Patua folk style from West Bengal Gita Wolf has written more than seventeen books for children and adults. A highly original and creative voice in contemporary Indian publishing, she has pursued her interest in exploring and experimenting with the form of the book and its status as a revered cultural object. Many of her children's books have won major international awards.

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