by Linda Sanders-Wells; illustrated by Abby Carter; Candlewick Press, 2009. 32 pages; $16.99; reading level: ages 4-7.
Being the older brother of an imaginative little sister can be a trial – especially when her pink monkeys take up residence in the refrigerator and only Older Brother seems to know they’re not real. Dad tacks a DO NOT DISTURB sign on the fridge, older sister Kate helps Maggie dress them, and Mom lets the monkeys take a bubble bath with Maggie. Older Brother’s friends, Calvin and Grady come to visit and demand to see the monkeys which sends Maggie into a meltdown. That’s when Older Brother saves the day, blocks the way to the fridge, and firmly points out the DO NOT DISTURB sign to his friends. “I think Mr. Monkey dropped his hat,” he tells Maggie, when the danger has passed. “That’s a shoe,” she responds. The illustrations – scribbly black lines and soft gouache (opaque watercolor), some framed in pink with monkeys peeking around the edges – look like Maggie might have done them. A perfectly kid-sized crisis is warmly and believably solved.
Maggie’s Monkeys was recently purchased at The Blue Marble Children’s Bookstore by Connie