Sunday, December 3, 2017

Arc Review: Baby Monkey, Private Eye by Brian Selznick and David Serlin

Baby Monkey, Private Eye by Brian Selznick and David Serlin. 191 p. Scholastic Press/ Scholastic Inc., February 27, 2018. 9781338180619. (Review from arc courtesy of publisher.)

Brian Selznick and debut author, David Serlin does for the Early Reader set what Selznick did for reluctant/ struggling/ dormant readers with his "brick" books* starting with The Inventions of Hugo Cabret. That is, gives those readers the thrill of reading a "big book" that is also accessible to them.

Oh. My. God! This is such an adorable book! Plus, it has all the hallmarks of a quality Early/ Easy Reader - large font, plenty of white space and repetition. Knock, knock, Geisel Committee, are you listening? 

It goes without saying that belief must be suspended what with Baby Monkey setting up shop as a hard-boiled detective (apparently with a rotating set of office interiors) and the inexplicable ease with which he nabs the culprits. Suspend that belief baby, cuz this one's a keeper! Also, peel your peepers over those office re-dos. They are gold!

Baby Monkey is utterly appealing. He loves to read. He listens really carefully to his clients. He takes notes. He eats his snacks. Then wrestles his pants on in order to set out to find the bad guy. Honestly, he spends more time getting his pants on than it takes to actually nab the perp. It's all so-o damn cute!

I'm in a middle school and plan on buying this gem. Not only will Selznick's fans want to take a look at this, I think it should find a home in the ELL classroom as well as replacement and cooperative ed teachers who may need an appealing book to entice below grade-level readers.

In short, Baby Monkey, Private Eye is a first-purchase! And, if you are not sold by my humble review, check out this Scholastic Preview.

*I will never forget the look on the first (and then every) reluctant reader that I showed this book to. "What? I can't read that!" Gets them every time!

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