WOW Review Volume VIII, Issue 2


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Mad about Monkeys
Written by Owen Davey
Flying Eye Books, 2015, 32 pp.
ISBN: 978190926574
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Monkeys are a very social bunch and like to communicate and be with each other, just like we do! (n.p).

The world is full of monkeys, all kinds of monkeys, doing all kinds of monkey things, including their movements and changes in the monkey world over time and location. What are those things, and exactly where in the world are they? This book will tell you, along with an explanation of what a monkey is, the types that exist, and how they behave wherever they are! The book also describes a typical monkey’s diet and abode and the traits of the world’s most evolutionarily successful monkeys.

This informational book is filled with interesting facts about Old and New World monkeys, their genealogy, and examples of Old and New World groups. Beginning with the front cover and end papers through the entire book, readers will be delighted with the engaging illustrations and have the opportunity to think through monkey myths, the current challenges to monkey survival, and some of the pesky antics monkeys demonstrate that often get them in trouble. A book truly for monkey fans young and old, this is a wonderful book for inquiry learning, to inspire curiosity, or for making comparisons to actual photos of monkeys for further reading.

Mad about Monkeys would make a terrific addition to a text set on primates, including books like Jo Ottaviani’s (2015) Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas, which adds insight into those who study primates, and Jennifer Curtis’ (2015) book Primate School, filled with photographs of primates.

A lovely picture book using both physical and digital work, Mad about Monkeys contains a colorful and graphical mid-century illustration style. Owen Davey’s work is clearly recognizable while also similar to the work of Charlie Harper in respect to his work on birds. This book can inspire young artists and their interest in technology. Davey’s online interview on his work as an illustrator explains more of his style and why he chooses to work within the constraints of mid-century design.

Owen Davey is a free-lance illustrator who lives in Leicester, United Kingdom. His illustrated works have been published on every continent except Antarctica and he was shortlisted for the 2015 World Illustration Award. In his spare time he bakes cakes, reads books written for young people, and plays in a band. More information about Davey and his work can be found at his website. Additionally, see an interview with Davey.

Holly Johnson, University of Cincinnati