This is a lovely story with appealing illustrations about a little girl and her toy monkey who go to see lots of interesting animals. The story includes a rhyme which is repeated as a chorus and there are lots of clues in the illustrations about what the little girl and her monkey will see next. See if you can spot them together!
Share the story
Before reading the story
Pause to talk about the drawings on the title pages – of the little girl putting her tights on.
Read the story aloud emphasising the rhythm as you do, pausing between each page and reading the animal names loudly.
As you read the story again, children can join in with the repeated phrase (monkey and me etc). Pause at the end of each page to see if your child can remember or guess the name of the animal on the next page.
Talk about the book
Talk about the clues in what the little girl is playing on the page before we see each animal.
Talk about anything else your child notices or is interested in, for example the baby kangaroo in the pouch, or the monkey that seems to have come home with them at the end of the book.
Count the animals on the double page spreads.
Watch the author Emily Gravett reading the book aloud
Jemma tells us that sharing the story also inspired her children to find out more about animals and create their own zoo:
'We loved that the book was repetitive so that both Orla (aged 4) and Archie (aged 2) could remember parts of the book and repeat it back. The images brought the story to life, especially the bats flying everywhere! We read the book but then searched for the same animals in animal books we had, then we set up a pretend zoo and used leftover packaging from a parcel as straw to feed the animals.'
Things to make and do
Play the story
Together you can:
Waddle like penguins
Bounce up and down like kangaroos
Bend over and look under your legs upside down like bats
Pretend to be elephants with an arm swinging as if it is a trunk
Make up a rhyme
Play ‘Monkey and me, monkey and me, monkey and me we went to see …’ Use the ideas from the story to finish the rhymes and maybe add some more of your own such as crocodiles or lions. The rhyme could be about your child’s favourite toy instead of Monkey. What actions would you add for these?
Find out about animals
Look for photographs of the animals in the story on the internet or in library books or maybe even go to a zoo to see some real animals!
Take a toy on a trip
When you have an outing together your child could choose a favourite toy to go too – just like the little girl in the story.
Draw a picture
Your child could fill a piece of paper with drawings of some of the animals the little girl saw.
Find out more
Read about more books by Emily Gravett here
The Rabbit Problem
Visit a zoo
See here for some of the best zoos in the UK.
Visit the Chester zookeepers’ FaceBook page – includes live webcams