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More five little monkeys, some answers, and more questions

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We went on a couple-hour drive last weekend and discovered we need to own all of Eileen Christelow‘s Five Little Monkey books for our cross-country trip (or else I would have to read the same three books over and over and over and over again). Or, if not all, at least more. So we purchased three more and I have discovered a few things.

Regarding last Monday’s post: Mama goes dancing by herself; is that a date in her car (above)? Picture from Five Little Monkeys Play Hide and Go Seek. Also, here are the photos she has up in her house (From Five Little Monkeys with Nothing to Do). Is that her in the wedding photo? What do you think? I am torn between the joys of imagining what her situation is and really, really wanting to actually know. Story of my life.

For a long time my daughter has been recounting the story of the alligators/crocodiles and the monkeys. I couldn’t wait to figure out exactly what she was talking about (there are a couple of versions) and it turns out it was from reading Five Little Monkeys Sitting in a Tree at school. The first time I read the book, I got worried that the crocodile was in fact eating the monkeys, something that would explain my daughter’s intense crocodile hatred. Crocodiles are also a large, evil presence in Five Little Monkeys Wash a Cartoo (see below). My daughter often yells at them “GO AWAY GO AWAY!” as we read. My daughter’s father and I have been wondering, are they really monkeys’ enemies? By, “really” I mean in nature. Do monkeys often get snapped out of trees? Do crocodiles or alligators eat monkeys? Oh! Question partially answered (from the author’s page):

When I started working on this book, I was saying the rhyme with “. . . teasing Mr Alligator . . .” But then I did a little homework and found that alligators and monkeys don’t live in the same places. However, some monkeys and some crocodiles do.

When we were at Five Little Monkeys (the store, not the book, confused yet?) we saw a crocodile Folkmanis puppet and were enticed. We know our drive will involve a lot of monkeys and it seemed like it might be a fun way to act out some of the many scenes of crocodiles and monkeys we’ll be reading. Okay, and to be honest, with all the monkeys in our life, we probably kind of liked the idea of pretending to eat the monkeys (after a certain number of readings one is almost rooting for the crocodiles, unless one is my daughter). We showed it to my daughter, smiling, “Should we get this? Isn’t this nice?” and, unfortunately, she started screaming, “NO, no that’s TOO scary!” Since we can’t justify getting a toy just for ourselves, we left it. My daughter is fiercely loyal: her friends’ enemies are her enemies and she is not going to make friends with a crocodile. Perhaps we haven’t read Lyle Lyle Crocodile enough; maybe if I try reading that over and over again we’ll be able to convince my daughter she needs a crocodile puppet. At least two members of this family would really like that. 

3 responses »

  1. Maybe the guy in the car is her chauffeur!

    • I like it! Mama and the five monkeys have a really old car in Five Little Monkeys Wash the Car and live near a swamp, but she could live it up for one night! It could be a friend of course too, I’m not ruling anything out.

  2. Pingback: Sneezing monkeys | Children's books

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