My first grader is reading well above his grade-level — a challenge I’m sure many of you can relate to. It’s tough finding age-appropriate books that are on his reading level that also engage and challenge him. Monkey Me and the Golden Monkey is the first in a new series from Scholastic aimed at newly independent readers and it fits the bill.
Clyde has lots of energy and he can’t sit still. When he eats a banana blasted by a special ray on a class field trip to the museum, the results are more than he bargained for. Now whenever Clyde gets excited, he turns into a monkey. His twin sister Claudia, the “good” child and model student, has to help him learn to control his monkey side and stay out of trouble.
Kids will relate to either Clyde or Claudia, either as the child who has difficulty controlling himself, or the exasperated sibling who doesn’t understand her brother’s lack of impulse control. But the twins learn to accept each other, even if they don’t understand the other’s behavior, as they work together to catch the thief who stole the Golden Monkey from the museum.
The story’s premise is nothing new but I enjoyed the unusual format — there are illustrations throughout, but the parts of the story where Clyde is a monkey are done in panels like a graphic novel. My son and I both enjoyed this book and look forward to the next one due out in March.
Nancy thinks all boys are a little bit monkey. She writes about her own boys, books and life in Colorado at Life With My Boys and Books.