Wednesday, April 27, 2011

W is for WE WANT another Read-4-Luck WEDNESDAY

This week's READ-4-LUCK pick is Maggie's Monkeys by Linda Sanders-Wells and illustrated by Abby Carter.

When Maggie reports that pink monkeys have moved into the refrigerator, her mother and father play along and accommodate the invisible visitors, much to the frustration of Maggie's older, reality-obsessed brother.
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Year: 2009
Word Count: 707
Book Level: 2.7

CHILDREN:  Funny, imaginative, playful, sweet, and heartwarming. All at the same time. For boys AND girls. They will especially love the silliness of the pink monkeys. And a cool narrator voice helps too.

PARENTS:  I love how something annoying turns into sibling acceptance and protection instead of rivalry. I wanted to read this one again, but nearly 7-year-old wanted a new book. He usually doesn't like the same books over and over, unless it's one he loved. But he would certainly sit beside me and look at the pictures and listen to me read it again, if I were to read it aloud again. Which I would. And probably will.

TEACHERS:  Can you say "writing lesson"? There is action, plotting, and great characterization. And extremely excellent dialogue. All grade levels, really. How creative do you want to get? Middle schoolers could even have fun with this. You could turn it into a lesson on persuasive writing.

WRITERS:  This one is worth a closer study. Things jumped out at me as I was reading it aloud the very first time. The very first sentence introduces the problem, or at least A problem, though not really THE main problem of the book, "Last week, a family of pink monkeys moved into our refrigerator." It goes on to say at the end of the very first page, "Nobody else could see any monkeys, but that didn't seem to matter to anybody except me." WHAM! Right away, a problem for this first-person point-of-view book. Then it goes right into three wonderfully short but descriptive examples of how the rest of his family played along with little sis, Maggie. Then there are three examples of the brother telling his family to quit being senseless, but they each reply with their own cleverness. Then he tried to accept the monkeys and get used to them, but the tension between bro and sis escalated because he couldn't seem to do anything right. Then brother's two friends come over one day. And he finally comes up with a solution that will leave you smiling. Be sure to also check out the dialogue. It's fabulous! Lots of action words. It goes right along with Monday's revision post.

Enjoy! And keep on keepin' on...


  1. We love this book at our house, too!

  2. As the author of Maggie's Monkeys, let me just say thanks for the great analysis and comments. Careful readers are a writer's best friends. It's fun to see your take on the story.

  3. Thanks, gals! I'm glad to see you both enjoyed not only the book (obviously) but also my Read-4-Luck "review."


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