Despite the title, there's plenty of kissing in Clark's (I Love You, Blue Kangaroo) cheery monkey tale. "Why does there have to be so much kissing?" asks Momo. "It goes on everywhere." From his vantage point high in a jungle tree, he can see that boars do it, butterflies do it, even airborne storks do it. Clark's sweet-tempered watercolors (her star looks vaguely reminiscent of H.A. Rey's famous chimp), offer a plethora of carefree families kissing goodnight, kissing to make up and, especially, kissing babies, who "get more kisses than anyone." Momo's first-person narration will resonate with any child who has had his or her fill of unwanted affection. The poker-faced text plays well against the illustrations, as in a spread in which the monkey declares, "And I wish no one would kiss me, especially... people I don't KNOW!" while being pursued by an aardvark, boar and rhino. In the end, Momo, too, falls prey to his irresistible new baby brother and, "by mistake I think, I kissed him." Clark's narrative never falters as Momo remains true to his nature to the very end ("It was lucky no one was looking," he says but of course, everyone was). Though it begins as an anti-Valentine, this volume will strike an affectionate chord with curmudgeons and romantics alike. Ages 2-5. (Jan.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
PreS-Gr 1-A little monkey asks, "Why does there have to be so much kissing?" and proceeds to describe the public displays of affection by various jungle animals, particularly in his family-"They kiss Hello, then they kiss Goodbye. They kiss Good Morning, they kiss Good Night." He boldly declares "no more kissing" but no one listens to him. When his baby brother is born, however, Momo finds himself accidentally kissing him. The appealing illustrations contain bright and cheerful scenes of lions, antelopes, birds, monkeys, and other jungle animals engaged in daily activities. Little Momo looks appropriately dismayed throughout the story but especially when an aunt or cousin tries to kiss him. The monkey family wears fine clothing and lives in a fancy house while all other animals appear naturally, which is a little odd but not a major distraction. Overall, this story invites lots of kissing and is a fresh approach to introducing a new baby in a family.-Linda M. Kenton, San Rafael Public Library, CA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Momo's sick of smooches. "It goes on everywhere, all over the place," he observes. "Especially mommies kissing babies." Disgusted, the little monkey mounts an anti-kissing campaign. But it doesn't make much difference; as he parades through the jungle holding a sign that says "No More Kissing!," an anteater, wild boar, and rhino all try to lay one on him. His family is even worse, greeting one another, saying goodnight, and bidding goodbye with one kiss after another. So when his baby brother arrives, Momo knows what to expect. What takes him by surprise is what happens when he tries to soothe baby's cry. As Momo explains, " . . . a weird thing happened, by mistake I think. I kissed him." Rendered in a lush, tropical palette, Clark's (Roman Myths, p. 644, etc.) illustrations are redolent with detail. The opening spread depicts a mystified Momo sitting in a tree as the toucans and snakes, ducks and lions, butterflies and flamingos below show their affection. Later, Momo stands on a stool and declares his edict to his extended family. On the next page, humorous vignettes show him recoiling and running away from their persistent embrace. A series of smaller sketches show him producing toys, making faces, and juggling bananas as the baby kicks and cries. But the final illustration shows Momo holding his baby brother while the mother monkeys behind him quietly cheer. Says Momo of the kiss: "It was lucky no one was looking." A sweet story sure to resonate with preschooler's and parents everywhere. (Picture book. 5-8)