Three Little Monkeys is stunning, charming and hilarious. A collaboration between Quentin Blake and Emma Chichester Clark truly is a match made in heaven and this picture book is the outcome of that match.
We are transported to what looks like the Parisian home of Hilda Snibbs, an eccentric lady who keeps three monkeys as pets. Needless to say, lots of cheeky monkey behaviour ensues. It is important to note here that Quentin Blake’s monkey creations are brilliant. In true Blake style, the character of each monkey is captured with a bewitching and magical allure. There is the extra special touch of the changing hair bow on one of the monkeys, I believe created by Emma Chichester Clark.
The repetition of the narrative is brilliant for any young reader however the anticipation it provokes makes the book exciting to read for any age. As a teacher, so much fun can be had reading this text aloud. The possibilities for young children to engage with this narrative are endless: role-playing the monkeys; cause and effect; actions and consequences and developing empathy to name but a few.
The reader travels along with a narrative to the climax of Hilda’s troubles and then is rocked with a sudden change in pace and tone. The repetitive nature of the structure and language again enhances this experience for the reader and adds to its fairytale-like quality.
We can all resonate with the yearning of the monkeys to make mischief while their carer is away but then to explore the idea and consequence of an apology or fixing it when we have all gone that little bit too far. All this wrapped up in the unconditional love and patience Hilda shows. A moving and important experience vital for any young reader to explore. A definite for all EYFS classrooms and bedroom bookshelves.
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