So Say the Little Monkeys

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Tiny, tiny monkeys having fun!

But when are they going to remember to build themselves a shelter from the rain, PLINKA PLINKA, and the wind, WOOYA WOOYA, and - scariest of all - the jaguar, GURR-YUH GURR-YUH? Surely not when they can play!

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Tiny, tiny monkeys having fun!

But when are they going to remember to build themselves a shelter from the rain, PLINKA PLINKA, and the wind, WOOYA WOOYA, and - scariest of all - the jaguar, GURR-YUH GURR-YUH? Surely not when they can play!

Based on a tale from the Brazilian rain forest about blackmouth monkeys, SO SAY THE LITTLE MONKEYS is a completely irresistible read-aloud that also contains a gentle message: Don't put off for tomorrow what you can do today.

A rhyming retelling of an Indian folktale from Brazil about tiny, playful monkeys and why they have no place to call home.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Children will find much to relate to in this whimsical tale of a wild bunch of monkeys intent on having fun and easily distracted from more practical considerations. Drawn from a Brazilian folktale, Van Laan's Little Fish, Lost infectious rhyming text tells of the tiny monkeys "blackmouths" who live along the Rio Negro in Brazil. Homeless wanderers, the blackmouths sleep in tall palm trees which, because of sharp thorns on their branches, are not the most comfortable resting places. Heo's Pets! pencil, oil and collage illustrations carry the childlike energy that has become her calling card. She illustrates the antics of the monkeys in a crazy quilt of offbeat hues: chartreuse, burnt orange, banana yellow and aqua. The primates cavort and dance among the thorns in pages that alternate between spreads and single-page illustrations. As in all folktales, there is an underlying cautionary lesson woven through the revels and sing-along soundings "Plinka Plinka" when it rains, "Wooya Wooya" when the wind howls: sometimes it pays to plan for the storms and dangers that seem so distant when the sun is shining and calling little ones out to play. Ages 3-7. Sept.
Children's Literature - Carolyn Mott Ford
Along the banks of the Black River, in Brazil, tiny monkeys live in tall palms full of sharp thorns. The monkeys do not make nests or build homes. Every night they sleep atop the pointed thorns. This story is based upon a tale explaining why the little blackmouth monkeys do so. The monkeys swing, jump and run. They play and have fun while singing, "Jibba jibba jabba." At nightfall, the other animals go to sleep in comfort, but the tiny monkeys creep up the thorny trees and cry "Jabba, jabba," until it starts to rain. As the cold rain soaks the little monkeys to the bone, they pledge to build a home. The next day dawns bright and sunny and the tiny monkeys once again have fun swinging, jumping and running. They play and eat bananas and forget about building a home. At night, when it rains once again, the monkeys wish they had built the home, but the next day the sun comes out. The reader can guess what the tiny monkeys do all day!
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-In this Brazilian folktale, a group of impractical little monkeys live alongside the black waters of a cool, dark river where they sing and play all day. At night it rains, "PLINKA PLINKA," and the wind blows, "WOOYA WOOYA," and the only available shelter is the uncomfortable, thorny branches of the tall trees. Shivering and crying, the monkeys vow to build themselves a home. Remarkably, it doesn't take much more than a bunch of ripe bananas and a sun shining brightly to keep these frisky fellows from their intended chore. In fact, these mischievously charming primates never do get around to completing their task; they're just too busy enjoying themselves. Stylishly drawn illustrations rendered in pencil, oil, and collage reflect the natural colors of the forest while maintaining a sense of animated glee. The rhyming text occasionally swings across a bright white page, keeping pace with the monkeys' unrestrained exuberance as "They swing, WHEEEE, over here./They swing, WHEEEE, over there./They sing, `Jibba jibba jabba,'/ as they jump and run." An author's note states that the tale comes from the Indians who live along the Rio Negro in Brazil and was created to explain the unusual behavior of the "blackmouth" monkeys. A read-aloud delight with a repetitive text that supports beginning readers, this picture book is a guaranteed good time for all.-Alicia Eames, New York City Public Schools
Kirkus Reviews
Van Laan (With a Whoop and a Holler, p. 119, etc.) recasts a traditional story into a catchy rhymed chant to explain why the blackmouth monkeys along Brazil's Rio Negro sleep in the open, in uncomfortably thorny palm trees. Shivering at night from the rain ("PLINKA PLINKA") and wind ("WOOYA WOOYA"), plus an occasional passing jaguar ("GURR-YUH GURR-YUH"), the monkeys resolve to build homes in the morning, but in the sun's light their decisions fall to such pleasures as jumping and sliding, gobbling bananas, singing (" `Jibba jibba jabba' ") and swinging ("WHEEEE"). In other words, they just can't get it together. Wearing Curious George smiles or frowns, these small, rubber-limbed monkeys cavort against Heo's Klee-like backgrounds, or sometimes across a white page: Lines of text, too, take an occasional swoop. Van Laan doesn't drive her point home, but then, she doesn't need to; look for plenty of grudging recognition here, from adult readers as well as children. (Picture book/folklore. 5-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689846908
  • Publisher: Aladdin
  • Publication date: 11/1/2001
  • Edition description: Original
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 1,037,532
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Nancy Van Laan has written many books perfect for reading aloud, including So Say the Little Monkeys; Little Fish, Lost; With a Whoop and a Holler, an American Library Association Notable Book; and the 1990 Parents' Choice Award winner, Possum Come a-Knockin'. She lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

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Customer Reviews

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