Friday, August 17, 2007

Back to School: Five Little Monkeys Go Shopping by Eileen Christelow

"Stick with me," Mama says, "and don't go wandering off."

With those hopeful words, Mama sets off with her five little monkeys to shop for new school clothes in what turns out to be a hilarious outing and a back-to-school review of basic number facts as well.

Things start to get complicated as one little monkey wanders off to the toys and books department. When Mama counts heads, she comes up with 5 - 4 = 1 missing monkey! Before rounding up the missing monkey, Mama issues an order to the remaining four to "Try on these clothes and DON'T GO WANDERING OFF." By the time Mama brings back the missing monkey, however, two of the four have gotten thirsty and gone out to find a drink. Mama's count: 1 monkey back, 2 monkeys trying on clothes = 3. Now 5 - 3 = 2 missing monkeys.

As Mama tries to locate her two little missing monkeys, 1 monkey takes a potty break and the remaining two hook up with old classmates. Meanwhile, Papa Monkeys and Grandma Monkeys are looking for their missing monkeys, and the math problems look like a homework page. 7 - 3 = 4? 5 - 4 = 1?

At last the saleslady has to announce on the loudspeaker, "Will ALL the little monkeys who are missing mamas, papas, sisters, and brothers please come to the children's clothing department RIGHT NOW!"

With her own five monkeys and their brand-new duds finally in hand, Mama herds her brood toward the car, not noticing that one little monkey is inviting a friend to come along to play. When Mama pulls out of the parking lot, she discovers she has a new problem: 5 little monkeys + 1 more little monkey = TOO MANY MONKEYS!

Five Little Monkeys Go Shopping, with its good-natured but harried Mama and those effervescent little monkeys, is a worthy addition to this series. For more merry monkey business from the Christelow five, see my April 4 post (Monkeys Shine) for all the earlier Five Little Monkey books.



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