Walker Books, 2021
40pp., hbk., RRP $A27.99
As Mother Monkey leaves her three babies high in the tree, she warns them not to go to the mango tree because of the tigers that are lurking. But the mangoes look delicious and the babies are very tempted.
“Maybe we could just look at the mangoes…”
“Maybe we could just get that little one…”
“Maybe we could just go down there anyway…”
How far are they prepared to push the boundaries? Are there tigers lurking? Do the babies learn their lesson?
In the dedication, Haughton quotes Aristotle …”For the things we have to learn before we can do, we learn by doing,” and he has encapsulated this perfectly in this cautionary tale that young readers will love because they will all remember a time when they have been warned but the temptation has proved too great. With its repetitive text that little ones can join in with, there is a sense of suspense built up as well as a sense of urgency when they discover that their mother was right all along. Nevertheless, it also emphasises the need to be willing to take risks, perhaps not as dangerous as this, if we are to learn and move forward.
With his signature illustrative style, and its bold colours, the creator of Don’t Worry, Little Crab has gifted our younger readers another engaging story that will become a firm favourite.