More Fun Than A Barrel of Monkeys! Chimpanzees for Tea by Jo Empson
"A BUNCH OF CARROTS, A BOX OF RICE, SOME TASTY CHEESE, A BIG, FIRM PEAR, A CAN OF PEAS--AND HURRY HOME FOR TEA!"
Grabbing the list, Vincent jumps into the driver's seat of his racer and rolls down the hill toward town. But as he waves to his friend Mr. Singh, the list blows away. Oh, dear, he thinks. He runs through the list in his mind.
"... a big. firm pear, and... a trapeze?"
But just as he's almost back on track, he spots a circus parade, with a stilt walker in the lead. Momentarily distracted, he tries to repeat the list back to himself.... Let's see... "A bunch of carrots ... a big furry bear, and a trapeze?"
With each distraction, Vincent's mind comes up with a new substitution to Mum's list, all in perfect rhyme. Fortunately, the traveling circus comes up with everything on Vincent's mental list, and he leads them all back to his house for tea!
"A BRANCH OF PARROTS, A BOX OF MICE, SOME CHIMPANZEES, A BIG, FURRY BEAR, AND A TRAPEZE."
All present and accounted for just in time for a proper British tea, in Jo Empson's tale of a strangely riotous shopping spree, Chimpanzees for Tea! (Philomel Books, 2016). With an author's nod to the oft-used "telephone game" plot, and with page design that emphasizes the brawling, sprawling nature of the story, a cast of comic critter characters, all in a swirl of movement, this one turns what is usually a humdrum errand that is everykid's idea of a bit of a bloody bore into an outrageously fanciful adventure. A ho-hum teatime turns into a party, ending with an sympathetic furry bear serving an overwhelmed Mum a much-needed cup of tea! "... A perfect read-aloud for all ages and a great memory game to play with school-age kids." says School Library Journal.