Sometimes We Think You Are a Monkey
Puffin Books/Penguin Canada
Written by Johanna Skibsrud and Sarah Blacker, illustrated by Julie Morstad
Synopsis from Penguin Canada:
Your little arms and legs move just like you are a baby monkey climbing into the leafy branches of a tree. But you are not a monkey.
Your nose twitches and your mouth moves as though you are a bunny sniffing the garden air. But you are not a bunny. Moving from animal to animal, leading to a wonderful surprise at the end, this charming story engages young readers with both the text and the adorable art.
When our kids seem to never fall asleep, playing in their room well after we said goodnight, we call them night owls. When they jump from sidewalk to rock to dirt pile we call them little monkeys. Sometimes We Think You Are a Monkey attributes a child’s behaviours to various animals, behaviours they will see in themselves and the animals we see in them.
The pages tease, inviting the reader to guess the animal implied by a illustrated glimpse. My daughter loved guessing what animal would next be referenced in the story. It also opened an opportunity to talk about characteristics in people that remind us of animals, like holding your breath underwater for a long time or being able to read a street sign from a great distance. Sometimes We Think You Are a Monkey is a lovely bonding story for child and parent, referencing the cute names we call them because of their behaviour. It’s also a great way to extend the discussion further about observing behaviours of people and animals alike.