Too Many Monkeys, by Margaret Wild

Mum, Dad, Eenie, Meenie and Baby Mo live in the jungle in a tree that is just the right size for a family of five. But when Granny and Grandpa come to visit, suddenly the tree is not big enough any more. So begins a funny chain of events as the family move from tree to tree and more and more relatives come to stay. Each new arrival heralds the need for a new move to a tree with more room.

Youngsters will love the silliness of this cumulative story and will enjoy predicting what will happen next. The ending, which shows the extended family finding a whole clump of trees with branches that touch – allowing each smaller family unit their own tree – is not only satisfying in the context of the story, but also gently paralells the human world, where families can be close yet still give each other room.

The gouache illustrations of Sally Rippin are delightful, with the various monkeys coloured in rich blues, purples and reds, and each monkey uniquely defined. The backgrounds are also bright and the book’s cover, with crowded monkeys within a black frame is eye-catching.

Like all of Margaert Wild’s picture books, Too Many Monkeys is bound to be a success.

Too Many Monkeys, by Margaret Wild, illustrated by Sally Rippin
Omnibus, 2004