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Baby Monkey, Private Eye by Brian Selznick & David Serlin
Thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for the review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
Baby Monkey, Private Eye by Brian Selznick & David Serlin is, I believe, the first in a new format of children’s books. An easy reader, with simple text and full page black and white illustrations, but with the external appearance of a much more mature book (think chapter book or middle-grade novel i.e. lots of pages).
The book consists of five chapters. Each chapter deals with a separate theft but because each case is handled in the same step-by-step way, the chapters are repetitive and predictable. The result— increased reader confidence with each passing chapter.
My almost six-year-old was captivated by the ‘big kid’ appearance of the book and pleasantly surprised when it was simple enough for her to read to herself. And just when she started to lose interest, due to the repetitive format of the chapters, we reached the final chapter, which had a different storytelling format to the other four.
The illustration detail in this book is phenomenal. Historic figures, icons, and images line the walls of Baby Monkey’s detective office, providing keen sleuths with case cracking clues. An explanation of these details and their place in history is included as back matter at the end of the book.
Spectacular art, splashes of history, and an easy reader combined into what appears to be a ‘big kid book’. Just brilliant!