Reviews provided by Syndetics
Publishers Weekly Review
Young readers will relate to the injured feelings and unkind pranks in this comics-inspired book, presented in stylized, aptly silly doodles. When Monkey peeks in Elephant's window and sees animals donning costumes, he assumes his best friend has left him out of the fun. A three-panel strip pictures Monkey's transition "from feeling sad... to feeling mad." He freezes Elephant's toys in blocks of ice, and Elephant-who has no idea why Monkey is upset-decides to punish him, too. In separate spreads, both pals reflect on the fun they have had gathering pet rocks and watching pro wrestling. Yet they feel wronged and seek revenge: Elephant whitewashes Monkey's pet rocks, and Monkey opens the jars containing Elephant's prized "smell collection." In each case, Townsend (Billy Tartle in Say Cheese!) pictures the victim gasping and the trickster grinning maliciously, giving readers both points of view. His goofy pen-and-ink illustrations, tinted with flat digital color, look jejune. Yet his sense of the "all-out war" between ex-buddies rings true, and the other animals' friendly intervention suggests ways to clear up a misunderstanding (or avoid one in the first place). Ages 5-8. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal Review
PreS-Gr 2-On a small island in the sea, Monkey is seen carrying a tray of cupcakes to Elephant's house. As the well-intentioned visitor peers through the window, he spies what appears to be a costume party in full swing. His tearful feelings of exclusion soon turn to anger, and his first act of revenge is to put Elephant's toys in the freezer. The confused pachyderm retaliates, and soon the mayhem is so violent that it causes destruction to their neighbors' property. The community hatches a plan to force the former friends to settle their differences, and all ends well when Elephant explains that he was planning a surprise wrestling match for his buddy. This slight story is presented in flat, digitally colored caricatures. Panels alternate with full bleeds to frame the large speech bubbles and busy action scenes. While children may chuckle at some of the humor (Monkey paints a smiling face on Elephant's posterior while the latter is sleeping), a few of the jokes are forced, some of the situations are illogical, and the premise is a bit contrived. For stronger stories that mix comedy and tension when characters jump to conclusions or misunderstand a situation, try Harry Allard's "The Stupids" titles (Houghton), Sue Denim's "Dumb Bunny" books (Scholastic), or Peggy Parish's "Amelia Bedelia" series (HarperCollins).-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Horn Book Review
A simple misunderstanding swiftly moves from sad to bad when Monkey feels excluded from his best friend's party. To "get even," Monkey puts Elephant's toys in the freezer, prompting Elephant to seek revenge. The retaliation escalates to utter chaos, forcing the other animals to fix the broken friendship. Townsend's cartoon-panel illustrations humorously display such offbeat antics as butt-painting and professional wrestling. (c) Copyright 2011. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Book Review
One evening, Monkey decides to surprise his best friend, Elephant, with a tray of cupcakes. When he arrives at Elephant's house, he thinks he sees a costume party going on inside. Monkey runs away in tears. Why wasn't he invited? His sadness turns to anger, and he sneaks into Elephant's house to deep-freeze all of Elephant's toys. So Elephant gets Monkey back by giving the multitudinous Bunny family the key to Monkey's house, and Monkey gets Elephant back by painting a silly face on his rump when he's asleep...it only gets worse and louder and more violent! The other animals on the island can't stand it, so they devise an ingenious plan to get the two best friends back together. After recriminations ("You froze my toys!") come realizations ("I should have just asked you about it!"), hugs and apologies, and all goes nearly back to normal. Townsend's tale of a fight fueled by misunderstanding and then revenge is told in a hybrid of graphic panels and traditional full-page and spot illustrations. The heavy-line cartoon illustrations populated by simple, rubber-limbed characters relate the instructive tale with pitch-perfect notes of humor and silliness that never approach the didactic. (Picture book. 4-8)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.