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Mr. Ape
     

Mr. Ape

3.0 1
by Dick King-Smith, Roger Roth (Illustrator)
 

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Dick King-Smith, beloved author of Babe: The Gallant Pig, returns with a witty and touching tale about the different shapes and sizes a family can take. When Archibald Peregrine Edmund Spring-Russell (Ape, for short) finds himself living alone for the first time in his life, he's finally free to do exactly as he pleases. And nothing pleases this wealthy old

Overview

Dick King-Smith, beloved author of Babe: The Gallant Pig, returns with a witty and touching tale about the different shapes and sizes a family can take. When Archibald Peregrine Edmund Spring-Russell (Ape, for short) finds himself living alone for the first time in his life, he's finally free to do exactly as he pleases. And nothing pleases this wealthy old English gentleman with an enormous estate and a Rolls-Royce more than buying twelve big, beautiful brown hens to keep in the living room. But Ape doesn't stop there. Soon there are rabbits and guinea pigs in the dining room, canaries in the music room, a noisy talking parrot in the kitchen, and a puppy who seems to be everywhere! Just when Ape's house is about to burst with little beasties, Joe and Jake—father and son Gypsies—lend a helping hand. But it takes a household disaster for Ape to realize he finally has the family he never had. With trademark Dick King-Smith humor, short chapters, and large type, this easy-to-read story is perfect for independent readers.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Of this story about an iconoclast who finds a new life, PW said, "Youngsters will take an immediate shine to this affably offbeat leading man." Ages 9-12. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Wendy Pollock-Gilson
Mr. Ape remembers and indulges in all the fun of childhood when his family leaves him alone in his mansion "Penny Royal." He eats his favorite foods including rice pudding with jam and crumbled graham crackers in bed and soon adopts a menagerie of animals. Luckily, a Romany father and son soon come to help him take care of the rabbits, hens, guinea pigs, and canaries who live in the mansion's living and dining rooms. When Penny Royal burns to the ground, Mr. Ape moves on in a caravan with his new friends and pets. Children who love animals and funny books will especially enjoy this charming tale by the author of Babe: The Gallant Pig. A warm and amusing fantasy for anyone who has ever daydreamed of being able to do whatever one wanted. Originally released in hardback, this reissue will be popular with children beginning to read independently because it has short chapters, large type and entertaining black-and-white sketches.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Archibald Peregrine Edmund Spring-Russell, otherwise known as Ape, is fed up. For years, he's been ignored by his children and bullied by his disagreeable wife. Penny Royal, his ancestral mansion, is about as homey as your typical museum. Now his family has cleared out and he's left alone with 15 empty bedrooms. Ape promptly moves into the kitchen and contemplates buying a pet. Soon there are hens laying eggs in the living room, rabbits and guinea pigs in the dining room, canaries in the music room, and, thanks to some traveling gypsies, a donkey in the garden. Ape soon discovers that he needs help taking care of all of these animals. The two gypsies, Joe Hart and his son, Jake, offer their services, and before he knows it, the elderly man has another family, this one much more to his liking. When Penny Royal accidentally burns to the ground and the Harts are blamed, Ape is forced to decide whether to stay where his ancestors put him or follow his new family to their next stopping place. King-Smith explores several themes in this warm story: prejudice, acceptance, family life, and, above all, the need to be yourself. The soft pencil sketches lend depth to the narrative and bring the characters to life. Peppered with good advice on how to care for and about pets, this book is a winner.-Linda Bindner, Athens Clarke County Library, GA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375802065
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
08/17/1999
Pages:
144
Product dimensions:
5.15(w) x 7.59(h) x 0.42(d)
Age Range:
8 - 10 Years

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Mr. Ape 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
HomeSchoolBookReview More than 1 year ago
Dick King-Smith has written several children's novels about animals, the most famous of which is Babe: The Gallant Pig, which I have never read. I have read his Harry's Mad, about a parrot who can talk and actually think, which I thought was pretty good, and The School Mouse, about a mouse who learns to read, which I thought was fairly good. Mr. Ape is about an elderly, wealthy Englishman, Archibald Peregrine Edmund (A.P.E. for short) Spring-Russell of Penny Royal, and how he fills his family's ancestral home with all kinds of animals, but when it burns down buys a "caravan" to go on the road with a couple of Gypsies that he has met. The other King-Smith books that I have read tend to be a little quirky, and this one is no exception, but it is rather cute, except for a few discordant notes. In the very beginning, Mrs. Spring-Russell said that after thirty years of marriage she was sick and tired of the big ugly house and her husband, and so she left. Of course, Ape was not necessarily responsible for this, but he is said to have been relieved rather than surprised, and it is all presented rather nonchalantly. There are references to going to a pub for a drink and several uses of "golly" and "gosh," all of which I edited out while reading it aloud to Jeremy, who said that he liked it. Otherwise, there is not really anything objectionable.