Monkeys and the universe

Kate Banks, 1960-

Book - 2009

Max and his older brother Pete learn about stars, planets, and galaxies when their father takes them to an astronomical observatory.

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Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room jREADER/Banks, Kate Checked In
Readers (Publications)
New York : Farrar Straus Giroux 2009.
Main Author
Kate Banks, 1960- (-)
Other Authors
Tomasz Bogacki (illustrator)
1st ed
Item Description
"Frances Foster Books."
Physical Description
48 p. : col. ill. ; 23 cm
  • A speck in the universe
  • Cosmic Chaos
  • Great galaxies
  • Twinkle, twinkle, little star.
Review by Booklist Review

In the second book in the Monkey readers series, Max wants to help his older brother, Pete, with his model of the solar system. Taking offense when he's called a speck in the universe, Max makes his own solar system out of marbles, but Pete's basketball sends Max's Earth out of orbit, and he retaliates by tossing Pete's Neptune out the window. Clearly written, the story supports classroom units on astronomy without packing the pages with facts and realistically portrays sibling bickering. Impressionistic, soft-hued paintings capture actions and emotions with style. This will please preschoolers as well as beginning readers.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2009 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-In this second installment in the series, Max wants to be more like his older brother, so when Pete tells his younger sibling that he is just a speck in the universe, the little monkey is not happy. As the story unfolds the brothers learn about the stars, the sun, and the planets, and even take a trip to an observatory. Although the two argue throughout, in the end they admit that they are "glad we're part of the same universe." Pastel illustrations complement the text. Beginning chapter-book readers will enjoy this sweet tale of brotherly love that includes some facts about astronomy, but it is not a must-have.-Michele Sealander, Hamburg School, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review

(Primary) In this second Monkey Reader featuring a pair of brothers who just happen to be monkeys, Banks again focuses her attention on younger sibling Max. Pete is building a model of the universe, and as big brothers often do, he makes Max feel insignificant, impressing him with his great store of knowledge while pointing out that in comparison to the moon, Max is just "a speck in the universe." The brothers wind up fighting, but after a trip to an observatory where both learn a lot, they reconcile. Banks does a fine job of combining facts with story in this easy reader, while Bogacki's illustrations, with their soft colors and blurry lines, convey gentle feelings even amidst the discord. Readers who met Max and Pete in Monkeys and Dog Days will enjoy seeing the monkey family (complete with dog!) again as they ponder the universe. From HORN BOOK, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

This sequel to Monkeys and Dog Days (2008) develops the family relationships among big brother Pete, little brother Max and their parents. This time, instead of grappling with the responsibilities of pet ownership, the simian family confronts sibling rivalry provoked by Pete's interest in the solar system and Max's attendant feelings of inadequacy as he is excluded from Pete's astronomical projects. "Pete sure knows a lot," Max thinks to himself in chapter one, later lamenting, "why did everyone have to know everything before he did?" Parental intervention through a trip to an observatory allows the brothers to both gain new knowledge and resolve their differences. Banks excels at using a controlled vocabulary to tell her story in language accessible to new readers, without ever sounding stilted or restricted, and Bogaki's illustrations, rendered in bright watercolors with soft, visual texture, provide pictorial cues for readers while also contributing to the storytelling. An added bonus of astronomical information seamlessly embedded into the text contributes to the great success of this beginning reader. (Early reader. 6-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.