Three Little Monkeys
Emma Chichester Clark
32pp., hbk., RRP $A24.99
Hilda Snibbs is not like other people. She doesn’t have a dog or a cat or even a goldfish – she has three little monkeys. Their names are Tim and Sam and Lulu and they are very lively. Every time she leaves the house and leaves them on their own, they trash it. Nothing is safe – not her hat, her knitting, her favourite shampoo, the toilet paper…
She tells them she is disappointed in them, she asks what she has done to deserve such wretched little monkeys; she wonders how long she can put up with them – and each time Tim and Sam and Lulu look at her with their big round eye and say nothing. One day after they had been into everything in her bathroom, she cries, “Oh, for a peaceful life without these wicked little monkeys!” But when she comes home the next day and they are gone, she realises how much she misses them until…
This is a funny, lovable story that will become a favourite of little ones as they recognise some of the mischief they themselves might have created over time. Quentin Blake’s words marry so well with Emma Chichester Clark’s illustrations – little vignettes that are full of action and fun as they show the monkeys at work – that this is a masterful collaboration. Even though the monkeys are so naughty they remain lovable and it’s Hilda Snibbs who becomes the “villain”. As Miss 5 said, “Why did she keep leaving them on their own? She’s stupid!”
Three Little Monkeys is the perfect bedtime read-aloud as the children delight in the antics and naughtiness of the monkeys and see that they are loved regardless of what they do, while Hilda Snibbs will resonate with exasperated parents who sometimes long for the quiet life they had before their own little monkeys were born., even though they know they wouldn’t have it any other way.