Friday, July 27, 2012

The Children's Corner: Picture Book Review: Going Ape! by Eduardo Bustos

Going Ape!
Words by Eduardo Bustos
Illustrated by Lucho Rodriguez
Published by Tundra Books
Published in 2012
24 Pages
Ages 5-8
There are more than 200 species of primates in the world. Going Ape! is a wonderful introduction to some of the most fascinating ones for children just discovering the world of animals. From Japan’s macaques to Africa’s gorillas, brilliant images and brief, informative text will capture the imagination of young children.
A line or two: 

Japanese Macaque:
He dips in hot springs to keep warm and even washes his food. The macaque is known for being a great swimmer and can swim more than half a kilometer.

My Thoughts:
What child doesn't love apes, monkeys, and primates in general? In Going Ape! Eduardo Bustos delivers something a little different than your average children book story. Of course it's fun for children to see their favourite animals in story books but it's never too early to start learning the facts about animals either.

Each set of pages in Going Ape! comes with a few sentences about that type of primate, an illustration of it in it's habitat (whether that be in trees or grasslands) and a front view of it's face. It's a simple, but effective way to introduce young readers to these animals without overloading them with information.

As a huge fan of  primates myself, I couldn't resist picking up a copy of Going Ape! both for myself and for a potential read for my child in later years. Most of the primates were what you could expect - baboon, chimpanzee, and gorilla, for example. On the other hand there were some primates of more interesting species like the mangabey and allen's swamp monkey.

After reading it I felt like it was just the right length for a child although I found myself personally wanting a few more "exotic" species thrown in for the benefit of the adults. I also felt it would have benefited from including a set of photos at the back of the real life animals. I always try to take the educational approach that any opportunity to see the real thing is an opportunity that should be taken.

Overall a wonderful book for children to start learning about apes. The illustrations were simple and cute, the facts not too overwhelming, and the book just the right length to keep a child's attention.

A side note: As a bonus, if you buy the hardcover, the back side of the dust jacket turns into a poster of all the species, a touch I know children will love (the battle to keep the book cover on...already started!)
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

You can purchase Going Ape! in hardcover from , and Chapters.
You can also add it to your Goodreads list.

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