Book Title: Slow Down, Monkey (available here)
Author: Jess French
Illustrator: Eefje Kuijl
Publisher: Buster Books
Publication Date: August 2020
Most Suitable For: EYFS & KS1
Reviewed By: Chris Whitney
When it’s your birthday there’s a lot of planning to do if you want your party to be a success! Well, it’s Monkey’s birthday and she’s invited all the rainforest animals to her party. From the first page the reader feels the panic in the party preparations through the beat of the rhyming text and vibrant detailed illustrations. Monkey has three things to organise – some music with a rocking jungle beat, a yummy cake and some pretty decorations. Unfortunately the rehearsals for the funky forest band are not going too well; bear’s attempt to make a cake has resulted in ‘icky, sticky, yucky, nasty mud in every bite’ and the tapir, whose job it was to make the decorations, has tied his legs in a knot and landed upside down!
Monkey is distraught. As she says herself, ‘I’ve rushed and bounced and dashed and zoomed, but now it’s too late.’ What is she to do? Just at the right moment, she spots a chilled-out sloth, who teaches her to slow down and look at, listen to and experience the world around her in a more mindful manner. Sloth teaches her to ‘SLOWWWW DOOOWWN!’ When Monkey does this, she realises that all she ever needed for the best party ever is right there within the forest and without any extra work. She just couldn’t see it in her rush and her busyness.
In Slow Down, Monkey! readers are encouraged to slow down and appreciate the world around them. As well as a great story and an important life message, this book also comes with a double page spread of information about the featured animals. Children will enjoy finding these animals as they reread the story. The final page provides the reader with some tips on how to be more mindful of the world around them.
Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to Review Panel member Chris for reviewing it.
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