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Chris Haughton
Walker books
Age 0-5

Mummy monkey leaves her three baby monkeys in their tree with strict instructions not to go down to the mango tree as there are tigers there. Predictably, the temptation is just too much for her inquisitive youngsters and in no time at all they find themselves narrowly escaping danger.

In a perfect combination of words and pictures Maybe brilliantly captures the feelings of the very young when warned not to do something tempting. This is a lovely story about learning from experience! The illustrations are stunning, and the monkeys are very appealing and so expressive with huge eyes conveying their thoughts and feelings powerfully. A picturebook that is sure to become a firm family favourite.

Watch a trailer

A special reading of Maybe…


Share the story

Read Aloud
Before reading the book to your child look through it yourself and think about how you will read it – the more dramatic the better to show the

This is a story you and your child will enjoy sharing again and again. When you read it aloud take your time looking at the illustrations. Your child is likely to spot the tigers lurking in some of the pages, pause to talk about how the monkeys are feeling

Join in
When your child is more familiar with the story encourage them to join in with some of the text eg the ‘Maybes’ ‘No tigers here, no tigers there….’ and ‘down, down, down.’

Talk about the book
◼︎Talk about what the monkeys are thinking when their mother tells them not to go down to the mango tree.
◼︎ Find the tigers hiding on each page
◼︎ Share your favourite pages.
◼︎Talk about what might happen when the story ends!

My two and a half year old granddaughter Nancy and I looked at the book cover of Maybe together and talked about what the book might be about. Nancy said they are baby monkeys, ‘That one’s Amy, that one’s Etta and that’s me.’ We decided the big monkey was the mummy. I read the story and we talked about the pictures as I read it. I asked her what were the baby monkeys doing and Nancy said they were hanging from the trees going ‘Ooh ahh, ooh ahh’. I asked her ‘Do you think there are tigers there?’ and she said ‘No”. As we turned the pages Nancy spotted the tigers hiding. When the tigers chased the monkeys she asked ‘Do tigers eat monkeys?’ and ‘Look he’s got his foot!’ After we finished the book she asked if I’d read it again. When we finished she immediately wanted to play being a monkey being chased by the tigers. Grandad had to join in too. We had to run around the room and behind the sofa, getting faster and faster. We climbed up the stairs with Nancy saying ‘Hurry hurry!’ When we got to the top Nancy was looking around saying ‘No tigers there’ and ‘No tigers there’ After running around upstairs and going into each bedroom Nancy sat down and looked at the book again. We then went back down stairs and ate some dried mango, which she loves. ‘This is delicious’ she said.

The next day I took a toy tiger with me and found two that Nancy had. We ‘hid’ them around the room. Nancy called “Quick quick run there’s tigers.” Nancy, Grandad and I all ran around the room and every so often Nancy said,”Stop. Listen. No tigers here” Nancy asked to read the book again and looked at it on her own. She pointed out all the hidden tigers saying ‘Yes there are tigers hiding” I didn’t want to frighten Nancy as she sometimes has nightmares, so I collected the tigers together and said that they were friendly tigers. Nancy said “They are not friendly tigers, they are quiet tigers.” We set up a tea party for the tigers, with toy teacups and a teapot and dried mango for the tigers. Nancy wanted her favourite soft toy seal to join us.

The sun had come out so we took the tigers into the garden. Grandad had the biggest tiger in his backpack and pretended not to know it was there. Nancy put the two smaller ones into her backpack. Nancy ‘hid’ the tigers in the garden, and got us all to run as if being chased and then she said “Stop. Listen. Shh!” We all listened and Nancy said “I can hear birds. I can’t hear tigers.” We continued with this game for a while, stopping to see if we could hear the tigers. Grandad made some growling sounds and Nancy said ‘That’s not tigers, that’s grandad.’

We talked about the monkeys liking mango and bananas. When we went in doors we chopped up and ate some banana and then made banana bread.
In the afternoon Nancy asked if we could read the monkey book again. This time she really engaged in turning the pages in the correct order and not missing a page. She joined in with some of the repetitive language such as ‘No tigers here’ ‘Maybe’ and ‘Down, down, down’ There was lots of talking and discussion about the pictures...’That monkey is at the top, that one is at the bottom. That one is at the top too’ I was able to develop her positional language and say ‘That one is in the middle’, ‘That one is underneath that one.’ ‘That monkey is the highest.’ When we were eating the mango and bananas we were describing them, Nancy said ‘They are delicious.’ ‘It’s so juicy.’ ‘They are very chewy.’ ‘It’s so sweet.’ ‘Mmm yummy.’

I used paper plates to cut out monkey and tiger puppets. Nancy helped me paint them and stick on googly eyes. We hung the monkeys around the house and talked about the positions they were in. We bought a fresh mango at the greengrocers. Nancy helped me cut it open and take out the fleshy fruit. She said she didn’t want to try it as it was too squashy. We decided to make it into a smoothy, but she didn't want to taste that either. Grandad and I enjoyed it though! There was a lot of discussion and language development as we handled and prepared the mango. We talked about the monkeys loving the mango and Nancy asked if tigers liked mango too.

Nancy wanted to read Maybe again the next time we visited. She looked very carefully at the pictures, turning each page over. I brought the paper plate puppets/masks that we had made and used them as we retold the story. I asked Nancy if the monkeys should go and look for the mango even though mummy monkey told them not to, and she answered ‘Maybe’. We hung the monkeys around the room putting them high and low and we hid the tigers so they were peeping out. Nancy enjoyed being a tiger this time and found it very funny when I was a monkey saying ‘No tigers here,’ ‘No tigers there,’ ‘No tigers anywhere.’ Nancy thoroughly enjoyed this book and it has become one of those we will return to again and again. Her focus and attention improved over several readings. She increased her language and also enjoyed a lot of imaginative play.

Things to make and do

Play the story
Act out the story with your child one of you being mummy and a tiger and the other one of the baby monkeys or alternatively you could act it out with toys as the monkeys and tigers.

Be a monkey
Find places for your child to (safely) climb or hang upside down like a monkey – for example a playground in a park.

Taste a mango
When you go shopping choose a mango to buy. At home cut it up and eat some together, talking about the taste as you do.

Do some counting
Count how many baby monkeys there are. For children getting more confident with counting you could also count how many legs, tails or eyes they have altogether.

Make a hand or footprint monkey.
Mix paint (finger paint is ideal) and paint your child’s hand or foot. Help them print this onto paper. The print can be the monkey’s body and legs. When dry help your child add a long curly tail and a face – these could be drawn or stuck. For the extra stary eyes – you could use googly eyes if you can get hold of them or stick white paper circles with black circles drawn inside. If you make several you could find a thin branch to stick them on.

Sing a song
Sing a song about monkeys in danger

Find out More

Read more books by Chris Haughton


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Oh No George!

Shh! We have a Plan!

Don’t Worry Little Crab

Goodnight Everyone

Hat Monkey – a very entertaining App created by Chris Haughton.

OBP 2022: what made our winner? – YouTube

Find out more about real monkeys

If you get the chance to visit a zoo or wild life park children would enjoy seeing monkeys.

Here is a video about real young monkeys. It is quite long- to see them playing in a tree scroll to 6.50.
One Two Three! Jump, Babies monkeys playing on the tree, Monkey Camp part 1618 – YouTube