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MONKEY AND THE ENGINEER

Author: Jesse Fuller

Illustrator: David Opie

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Publisher: JD Publishing, a Division of Redpsych Productions,

Material: hard cover

Summary: You can just imagine what is going to happen when the Monkey starts driving the train. The engineer is left behind, but the train is coming through on time. This rhyming story draws on a folk song for inspiration.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, playtime reading, read aloud book, learning to read

Recommended Age: read together: 2 to 9; read yourself: 5 to 9

Interest Level: 3 to 7

Age of Child: Read with 6-year-old child.

Young Reader Reaction: Our child requested this book several nights in a row. S/He liked to add the sound of the train whistle as we turned the pages.

Adult Reader Reaction: The illustrations are great, but it this story is clearly meant to be a song, and adding a CD would probably add more pizazz to the book. After the second time, we had read this enough. The biography of Jesse Fuller is great, but lost on our child.

Pros: The engaging illustrations bring to life the lyrics of a folk song. Kids will enjoy the imagery of a monkey driving a train.

Cons: Although you can listen to the music online, it would be nice to have the music on hand with the book to encourage a "read along" on the go.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. Younger kids will love the illustrations, and older kids will enjoy having a visual complement to the music.

If You Liked This Book, Try: WHOLE WORLD   POETRY SPEAKS TO CHILDREN (book and CD)   TRUDY AND THE CAPTAIN'S CAT

Educational Themes: The biography of Jesse "Lone Cat" Fuller provides a great starting place for exploring folk music, traveling musicians, train travel, and music genres.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, music, trains

Date(s) Reviewed: January 2008

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