“A beautifully illustrated but static story with an astonishing lack of reciprocated cuddles. ”
Cuddle Monkey lives for cuddles. There are two appointed times for cuddling in his day—right when he wakes up and right before bedtime. He even waits an entire 17 seconds before asking to cuddle again, but his parents are always too busy to give him any more cuddles. Cuddle Monkey takes matters into his own hands and tries to satisfy his love for physical affection by cuddling a myriad of different items and people throughout his day, only to be left wanting as the cuddles aren’t reciprocated. Some of his choices are sweet, like his favorite book and stuffed animals, while more comical choices include a bunch of bananas and his bus driver. With little character development and the disappointing aspect that his parents can’t take time to give him any quick cuddles throughout their day, this mediocre read doesn’t meet the expectations set by the darling yet relevant endpapers, the comical first few pages, and the beautifully executed illustrations. Fun details like Cuddle Monkey’s long, made-for-cuddling arms and his impressive collection of stuffed animal friends are overshadowed by the unbelievability in Cuddle Monkey successfully being able to put his baby brother to bed and the lack of resolution and cuddles as the story progresses.
A little monkey looks for the perfect cuddle while his parents are busy with his new baby brother in this insanely adorable picture book about learning to be an older sibling.
Lewis loves to cuddle. But ever since his baby brother Owen was born, cuddle time with his mom and dad has been in short supply. Lewis, however, remains undaunted! He wants his cuddles! So:
He cuddles his favorite book. He cuddles his stuffed animals, Hedwig, Lamby, and Monster Dude. He even cuddles a puddle, just because it rhymes!
But cuddling the bus driver turns out to be a little dangerous. Cuddling at dinner is too messy. And cuddling Owen is wiggly and squiggly. Then Lewis finds that a cuddle doesn’t have to be perfect for it to be just the cuddle you need.
Lewis has quite the collection of stuffed animal friends that he tries to snuggle when looking for cuddles. Which of his stuffed animals would you most like to snuggle with?
Lewis tries cuddling all sorts of things and people during his day. Out of all of different things he tries, which did you find the funniest?
Blessed, or perhaps cursed, with an extraordinary sense of smell, Blake Liliane Hellman has always enjoyed sniffing out a mystery. Whether that means discerning leather from pleather or which coworker had garlic for lunch, her nose is on the case! She lives with her nice-smelling family and a rather stinky cat in Seattle, Washington. Something Smells! is her first picture book.
Chad Otis has a BFA in design from the University of Washington School of Art. Although he’s been working with the likes of Penguin Random House Digital, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and Disney Online for over twenty-five years as an animator, illustrator, and creative director. Cuddle Monkey is his picture book debut.
FOR MY TWO CUDDLE MONKEYS, CATHY AND CHARLIE
“By the time Lewis finally gets a bedtime cuddle from his parents, storytelling rather than ideology may trip up readers: Why was a quick hug so hard to come by earlier in the day? Poor Lewis! Not a sure pick to cuddle up with.”
“Hellman . . . writes . . . the message that being in a family means sometimes having to wait for what you want—but not forever.”