Official Review: Monty the fish goes to the zoo

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Mallory Whitaker
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Official Review: Monty the fish goes to the zoo

Post by Mallory Whitaker » 09 Nov 2019, 23:29

[Following is an official review of "Monty the fish goes to the zoo" by Vivienne Alonge.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Monty, a literal fish out of water, isn’t the only animal acting strangely in Vivienne Alonge’s whimsical children’s book, Monty the Fish Goes to the Zoo. At the zoo, Monty and a friendly worm observe eighteen different animals. As Monty and the worm progress through the zoo, each animal they observe joins their party. This makes for some interesting illustrations, as all of the animals with Monty are visible in each picture.

Each animal is given a page with a simple sentence describing what they’re doing. The following page is a full-page illustration of the act described, with Monty, the worm, and other animals as onlookers. The illustrations are vibrant and colorful, with smiling, mischievous animals filling the pages.

The author has cleverly given this book an I Spy element. The reader is encouraged to find the worm in each illustration. I read this with my 3-year-old, and the worm was often too hard for him to find on his own, but we had a lot of fun “finding” the larger animals. The worm could be tricky to spot sometimes, especially when two snakes were brought into the mix; they kept confusing my son, and I’m still not sure if I found a worm or a snake on the last page.

For every two animals, there’s a couplet. For example: “Monty saw a monkey tickling the lion’s toes / Monty saw a zebra playing dominoes.” For the most part, there’s good cadence and rhythm, but some of the sentences disrupted the flow. This wasn’t too problematic though, since we were pausing between each animal to look closely at the illustrations. I only noticed this when I read it aloud to myself. The rhymes are strong rhymes, except for the two slant rhymes, “queen/cream” and “suit/boots.”

The language is simplistic; I think “chimpanzee,” “dominoes,” and “python” are the only words a younger preschooler might be unfamiliar with. The text is rich with verbs, and I found that very helpful since that’s something my son is working on in speech therapy. I would highly recommend this book to any parents who have children struggling with the same issue. Additionally, if you want a fun book that will introduce your child to a slew of animals doing silly things, you should check this out. Though Amazon says the book is for ages 1-18, I think 2-8 is the age range that would get the most out of this book.

There were a couple of grammatical errors, although at least one is more of a subjective error than an objective one. Regardless, I still highly enjoyed this book, as did my son. This is why I give Monty the Fish Goes to the Zoo four out of four stars, as well as the fun illustrations and the I Spy element.

Monty the fish goes to the zoo
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Stephanie Elizabeth
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Post by Stephanie Elizabeth » 26 Nov 2019, 06:12

This sounds so cute, and I love that it is about a fish who is literally out of water--how clever! Thanks for the engaging review!

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Michelle Fred
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Post by Michelle Fred » 26 Nov 2019, 11:03

I like how engaging the book is. I'm sure many parents will enjoy reading the book with their little ones, just like you did with your son. It will be a great bonding experience. Thanks for this beautiful review.

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Post by Miller56 » 26 Nov 2019, 12:51

This sounds like a great book to read with children. I spend time with my grandchildren reading and looking for objects in the story. It takes us a long time to read a simple story. Thanks for the review. This one looks like something that my grandchildren would love.

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Post by La Cabra » 27 Nov 2019, 01:53

Seems like a great book to entertain toddlers. A great way to get them into reading and an early age and also introduce them to bigger words. I should like to pick this up for my nephew some time. Thanks for the recommendation :D

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Post by imashakavinda » 27 Nov 2019, 02:12

Monty the fish goes to the zoosounds like a great childish book.I'm sure that the children will enjoy this book lot,The fish is a iconic character in children world so I hope that the children are get into read this book

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Post by Falconcrest » 28 Nov 2019, 06:22

How interesting I am glad the author cane up with this book. Animals are always great tools for teaching children, as well as stimulating their imagination. Thanks for the great review.

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Post by kdstrack » 03 Dec 2019, 21:44

The I Spy element is an ingenious idea for this age. I also like how each new animal joins the group, thus making it a memory activity of trying to remember their order of affiliation! This books looks like fun! Thanks.

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