Monkey & Elephant's Worst Fight Ever
What It Is
Monkey and Elephant are best friends. One night, Monkey stops by Elephant’s house with a gift, only to find a party going on inside. Monkey jumps to the conclusion that Elephant had a party without inviting him. Monkey feels very sad, then becomes angry and “gets even” by freezing Elephant’s toys. Confused by this mean-spirited act, Elephant becomes equally as mad and does something mean in return. The back-and-forth cycle continues and worsens until their friends decide to intervene. While Elephant and Monkey are sleeping, their friends send them off into the ocean in a rowboat. The two hash out their differences and Monkey blurts out that Elephant had the costume party without inviting him. When Elephant reveals that the party was going to be a surprise wrestling tournament for Monkey, he feels very embarrassed and apologizes. The two finally come back to land and enjoy the “not-so-surprise” wresting tournament.
Why It’s Fun
Michael Townsend’s wacky story and comic-book-like illustrations offer an unusual and refreshing way for adults and children to explore the meaning of friendship and trust. The unique art style makes the book even funnier and more engaging for kids. And within the comedy, readers will find a strong message about the dangers of jumping to conclusions.
Who’s Going To Love It
Boys and girls in the younger end of the publisher’s recommended age range should enjoy this book and have some laughs. Townsend’s animal characters effectively convey the human feelings of being hurt by a friend and the impulse to “get back at him or her.” However, a few of the “retaliations” were a bit over-the-top, such as Monkey painting Elephant’s behind and smashing his windows. And, while Monkey and Elephant apologize to each other, they don’t acknowledge that their vengeful behavior was wrong. Perhaps that can inspire some parent/child conversations. All-in-all, it’s a fun pick from the library or book store.
About 3 minutes
7 out of 10
Monkey & Elephant’s Worst Fight Ever
By: Written and Illustrated by Michael Townsend
Published by: Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books (2011)
Approximate retail price: $15.99
Publisher’s recommended ages: 5 - 8