Hey, wild thing: grab a vine so we can swing through the jungle! We’ve got the perfect excuse to go totally bananas today, because Lisa Schroeder’s third book this year, Little Chimp’s Big Day (Sterling, 2010), is officially out!
In January, Lisa released a young adult verse novel, Chasing Brooklyn (Simon Pulse). In March, an exceedingly tasty middle grade novel, It’s Raining Cupcakes (Aladdin), and now, to top everything off, an absolutely adorable picture book! Lisa is one of those rare authors who can write successfully across genres. How do you say, “amazingly talented, prolific and versatile”?
In the jungle, in a tree
sits a little chimpanzee.
Mother said she’d be right back.
But now the branch snaps
with a crack.
Where could Mother be?
With that snap, our little friend tumbles into a big adventure, playing peek-a-boo and chase with a big frog, riding down the river on the back of a hippo, munching on bananas :9, swinging from vine to vine alongside colorful parrots, and even meeting up with a jungle cat! While Little Chimp is having all kinds of fun discovering many fascinating new things on his own, being away from Mother is also a new experience, so he keeps wondering where she is. But he needn’t worry — as the pictures show, Mother is not far off, keeping a careful eye on him. So reassuring and comforting!
This big hug of a picture book, narrated in rhyming couplets interspersed with a string of present participles and the repetitive tag line, “Where could Mother be?”, is the perfect read aloud. With rollicking momentum, the words simulate the chimp’s lively, rhythmic romp from tree to tree, scene to scene.
Lisa McCue’s gorgeous acrylic and watercolor illos, featuring realistic animals with child-friendly personalities, are a joy to behold. Her visual canvas showcases beautiful birds and butterflies, lush greenery, exotic flowers, interesting insects and reptiles, and day-to-dusk skies in blues and violets — all of which will engage young readers and likely pique their curiosity about jungle habitats. I love Little Chimp’s facial expressions, which perfectly convey his curiosity, wonder, delight and amazement. And the sweet reunion at the end, a blue-ribbon feel-good moment, will likely prompt lots of hugs, cuddles, and requests for repeated readings. This is truly a well conceived book which hits all the right emotional notes. Kids will enjoy looking for Mother Chimp, and feel comforted knowing that even when you are on your own, someone is there for you.
Now, please help me congratulate Lisa and Lisa, because today is their BIG DAY! The alphabet soup kitchen helpers traveled to the deepest part of the jungle to gather the ingredients for today’s celebration soup. Just so happens it took them a tad longer than usual to complete their work because they were so busy riding on hippos taking notes about all the fascinating things they saw. Feel free to jump right in, splash around, and croak your good wishes. For today only, activities such as flipping, flopping, slipping and dropping are highly encouraged.
Today’s Special: Chimp Chowder (seasoned with frog hop and snake slither).
To go with your soup, a little bento:
Jason + Amanda – allergyfriendlypastries.com
For dessert, how about a little banana cream pie (nom, nom)?
Of course, we must have cupcakes,
and since this is truly a BIG DAY, we’re springing for some monkey cookies:
Okay, now that you’re all sugared up, swing right on over to your local indie, or click through to your fave online bookseller to score your copy of Little Chimp’s Big Day. If you go to a bricks and mortar store, wear brown or yellow. As for the salesclerk, you may opt to speak to him/her in chimpanzee or Tarzan-like monosyllabics. You will likely get some undivided, if not wary, attention. If you feel like hugging, don’t hold back!
LITTLE CHIMP’S BIG DAY
by Lisa Schroeder
illustrated by Lisa McCue
published by Sterling Children’s Books, September 2010
Picture book for ages 3+, 24 pp.
Cool themes: Independence, nurturing, families, adventure, animals, nature
♥ Online review: Reviewed by Mom
We love you, Lisa and Lisa. Thanks for the cool book!
*Spreads from Little Chimp’s Big Day posted by permission, copyright © 2010 Lisa McCue, published by Sterling Children’s Books. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2010 Jama Rattigan of jama rattigan’s alphabet soup. All rights reserved.