Welcome to the Woods! A peaceful home, until...ZAP! ZAAPPP! ZAAAPPPPP!!! It's Monkey in a hovercraft that fires lasers! Science and nature fight again! With robotic worms! Trojan mooses! And lemony doomsday devices! It's the continuing battle between good and evil...It's Bunny vs Monkey: Book Two!
Book number two starts off from the first book but is done well enough that you can read it as a stand alone book. This book, all the stories are three pages long, so you can fit a little more fights, arguments, adventures etc into the world of Bunny vs Monkey. My eight year old was rather keen to get straight into looking through book two, having just finished the first book and anything that gets him happily looking at books and reading words out to me.
I have a general rule that review books aren't allowed down into the kids bedroom until I have reviewed it, my was of ensuring that I don't forget about it, but my eight year old snuck it down not once, but twice, so easy to see that it was a hit with him. There might be fighting and things getting blown up but no one ever really gets hurt which is nice to see, I did find some of the stories to be a rehash of some from the previous books, but it is still done well. This book does end on a slight cliffhanger with a tease of what's to come, perhaps monkey and bunny working together...?
A hit for the kids, bring on book three.
A few weeks ago I reviewed the first book in this series and was stoked to find that the second book was available. The children and I could not wait to read it together and see if it was as good as the first one. Often a series will start with a bang and then fizzle out, but it was certainly not the case with this book. We read it from start to finish in one go, by which time I was losing my voice and Miss Four was seriously tired - but it was far too compelling to put down.
So what made it so good? First of all, although it is the second in a series, it can be read as a standalone story and it is quite unique in the way the main characters are presented. Although there are supposedly "goodies" and "baddies", the differences are not so black and white and every character is ultimately a mixture of the two (although some are "gooder" than others)! Secondly, the humour appeals to young children who love the slapstick aspect and the use of "naughty" words in sentences like "It also fires fish from its bum" and "Oh, bottoms!"
The storyline itself, while often farfetched, is clear and is told in reasonably sized chunks so that there can be the occasional break when children get tired. Skunky's inventions are increasingly more bizarre and the drawings are a sheer delight. There are references to historical events and Greek legends (the Trojan Horse and the Second World War) which offer parents extra opportunities to stimulate their children's knowledge by talking about them. Mr Six really enjoyed these departures from the story proper to fill in a few gaps!
I like the way the author plays with words - "artistic lie-sense" and "leaf it alone". The language used also includes a number of more difficult words which some children will understand in context; others, however, will require parental assistance to decipher them. All the same, the challenging words are not so numerous that they would stop a bright child from reading the text on his or her own, and their inclusion certainly heightens the educational value.
Now that I have enjoyed this book, I cannot wait to read more of the adventures of Bunny and Monkey and their friends in the Woods, and look forward to seeing Book 3 when it hits the shelves. This is simply a must-read for 4-8 year-olds, combining as it does the crass humour of the very young (including lots of references to bodily functions, much to their delight) and the opportunity to learn new words and ideas that extend beyond the scope of the book itself. Even the paper that the pages are printed on are certified as being environmentally friendly!
Random listing from 'Books'...
Santa is off on a holiday around the world! But he is being followed by Naughty Nat who is trying to steal his 'naughty and nice' list. Can you find Santa wherever he goes? Or will Naughty Nat manage to track him down first and get her hands on the magic list?
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