Fourteen Monkeys
A Rain Forest Rhyme
Welcome to Manú National Park in Peru, where an astonishing fourteen different species of monkeys live together. That’s more than in any other rain forest on Earth! How can so many species survive together in place? Find out in this playful, rhyming picture book that explores each monkey’s habits, diet, and home territory, illustrating how this delicate ecosystem and its creatures live in harmony. From howler monkeys to spider monkeys to night monkeys, young readers will love getting to know these incredible primates and discovering the amazing ways they share their forest.
Honors and Awards
paramarker Bank Street College Best Children’s Book of the Year
paramarker California Eureka! Book Award, Silver Honor
paramarker Evanston Public Library Blueberry Award Honor Title
paramarker Fuse #8 Productions Best Rhyming Picture Books
paramarker Fuse #8 Productions Best Science & Nature Books
paramarker Fuse #8 Productions Best Nonfiction Picture Books
Junior Library Guild selection
paramarker Politics and Prose Bookstore Children and Teen Favorites
Publisher’s Weekly Recommended Environmental Kids’ Books for 2021
Reading Rockets Featured Title
Society of Illustrators Original Art Show, featured
Washington Towner Book Award Finalist
“Stewart and Jenkins have produced another stellar picture book. … Fourteen Monkeys, entertaining, informative, and stimulating, exemplifies the characteristics of great nonfiction—it’s a wonderful way to spark curiosity and start young readers on a life-long road of discovery.”
—Shelf Awareness, starred review
“Captivating, informative, and useful … Each species, aptly shown in an arboreal setting, is introduced and identified via a charming boldfaced couplet; text set in a smaller font provides more-substantive information. … Jenkins' signature splendid illustrations, cut- and torn-paper collages, realistically depict the monkeys as colorful, lively, wide-eyed, winsome, and endearing; fur appears palpably plush.”
—Kirkus Reviews
“While monkeys are always appealing to young children, this book digs deeper into the lives of these 14 monkeys using Stewart's beautiful, descriptive, and age-appropriate vocabulary, and Jenkins's familiar cut-paper collage illustrations to match. … A terrific additional or first purchase.”
—School Library Journal
“… each [monkey] gets its own place to shine in a double-page spread that features a rhymed couplet, a handful of explanatory prose lines, an infographic that denotes the height at which the monkey lives within the forest, and an energetic collage by the ever-engaging Jenkins. … Although a simple readaloud provides plenty of delight, classes can easily extract data that demonstrates Stewart's opening observation on limited competition, and enterprising teachers might orchestrate a class performance.”
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
“A great choice for young animal- and science-lovers searching for their next nonfiction read.”
Behind the Book
“This book was inspired by a single paragraph in The Life of Mammals by David Attenborough. It explained how a half dozen species of guenon monkeys can all live together in the forests of Africa because they have different lifestyles and habits. As I was reading this passage, I immediately thought of the fun poem “10 Little Monkeys” and wondered if I could create a nonfiction version with facts about this group of monkeys.
“That idea didn't work out, but I was so fascinated by monkeys that I kept doing research and talking about them every chance I got. Eventually, my friend and children’s book illustrator Katy Tanis, who is on a quest to see every monkey species in the world in its natural environment, suggested that I read High Moon over the Amazon: My Quest to Understand the Monkeys of the Night by Patricia Wright. That book led me to the very special community of monkeys that inhabit Manú National Park in Peru. The more I learned about them, the more convinced I became that they were the perfect fit for the book I wanted to write.
“While the text doesn’t follow the same meter as ‘10 Little Monkeys,’ you can see the influence if you look closely. Because I knew curious kids would want to know more about the monkeys than I could possibly incorporate into the poetic main text, I added secondary text full of additional details as well as rich backmatter bursting with even more information.
“Manú National Park isn't open to visitors, but as I was researching the book, I was able to interview a scientist who spent time there. I also drew upon my experience observing wildlife in the rain forests of Costa Rica, where I was lucky enough to spend time watching three of the species included in Fourteen Monkeys.”
Fourteen Monkeys
by Melissa Stewart
illus by Steve Jenkins
Beach Lane Books /
Simon & Schuster, 2021
for ages 5-9
ISBN 978-1-53446-039-3
Purchase this book at your local independent bookseller or
Can an Aardvark Bark?
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