Apes And Monkeys: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about apes and monkeys?

As you can see, this list of kids books about apes and monkeys is a work in progress! We’re currently exploring the best books available, and we’d love your input. If you have a title you’d suggest including on our list of kids books about apes and monkeys, please share it with us!

We’ll be featuring a variety of titles on our list, from well known classics to popular bestsellers to lesser known titles that deserve a bigger audience. We’re also including books for a range of ages, from board books for babies and toddlers, to picture books for preschool and kindergarten age kids, to chapter books for early elementary age kids.

We’d love to hear any book suggestions you have—you can comment below or email us at [email protected].

Cuddle Monkey book
#1
Cuddle Monkey
Written by Blake Liliane Hellman and illustrated by Chad Otis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla book
#2
Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla
Written by Katherine Applegate and illustrated by Mr. G. Brian Karas
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In a spare, powerful text and evocative illustrations, the Newbery medalist Katherine Applegate and the artist G. Brian Karas present the extraordinary real story of a special gorilla. Captured as a baby, Ivan was brought to a Tacoma, Washington, mall to attract shoppers. Gradually, public pressure built until a better way of life for Ivan was found at Zoo Atlanta. From the Congo to America, and from a local business attraction to a national symbol of animal welfare, Ivan the Shopping Mall Gorilla traveled an astonishing distance in miles and in impact. This is his true story and includes photographs of Ivan in the back matter.

Mr Big book
#3
Mr Big
Written and illustrated by Ed Vere
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Mr Big is strong, Mr Big is tough, Mr Big is . . . well . . . BIG! He has just one small problem - because of the way he looks he just can’t get people to stick around. How can he show them that although he may look a little scary, he is just a great big softy inside? With his trademark bold color and masterful graphic simplicity, Ed Vere sensitively and humorously tackles the universal and current subject of inclusion, reminding the reader that to get to know someone you need to look beyond their exterior. This is the third picture book from an exciting new talent, whose previous titles The Getaway and Banana have received great critical acclaim.

Cloud Tea Monkeys book
#4
Cloud Tea Monkeys
Written by Elspeth Graham and Mal Peet and illustrated by Juan Wijngaard
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Carnegie Medalist Mal Peet and his wife, Elspeth Graham, team up for a captivating, lushly illustrated tale evoking a Chinese legend. (Age 4 and up) A Junior Library Guild Selection Tashi lives in a tiny village at the foot of the mountains, below the tea plantations where her mother works. When her mother falls ill, Tashi goes alone to the plantation, hoping to earn money for the doctor. But she is far too small to harvest the tender shoots, and her clumsy efforts anger the cruel Overseer. She is desolate, until — chack-chack-chack! — something extraordinary happens. Inspired by a centuries-old legend of tea-picking monkeys, here is a richly told tale full of vivid characters: the heartless Overseer, the enigmatic Royal Tea Taster, and — far away — an empress with a penchant for tea.

Gorilla book
#5
Gorilla
Written and illustrated by Anthony Browne
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Celebrate thirty years of a classic picture book by one of today’s most celebrated author-illustrators! A special anniversary edition. Hannah loves gorillas and longs to see a real one. Unfortunately, her father is always too busy — or too tired — to take her to the zoo. But on the night before her birthday, something extraordinary happens and Hannah’s wish finally comes true. Anthony Browne’s classic story of a girl’s moonlit night of adventure, courtesy of a surprising and kindly friend, returns in a larger trim size with striking cover art by the artist for the book’s thirtieth anniversary.

  1. The Park in the Dark - A hugely endearing picture book from the makers of the Big Bear and Little Bear series. When the sun goes down and the moon comes up, the toy monkey and his friends, Loopy the elephant and Little Gee the dog, creep softly out of the bedroom, down the stairs and through the dark hall on their way to the deserted park. The park’s an exciting place to be after dark, though a little bit scary - especially when the Thing (a night train) hurtles out of the darkness, seeming to chase them. Then the three friends run all the way home and jump back into bed, safe and sound once more. Now a classic story, The Park in the Dark won the 1989 Kurt Maschler Award and has now been reissued to appeal to a new generation of young children.

  2. Willy the Wimp (Willy the Chimp) - Willy the Wimp. Willy wouldn’t hurt a fly - he even apologizes when someone hits him. The suburban gorillas call him Willy the Wimp. Then, one day, Willy answers a body-building advert … with hilarious results! Celebrate 30 years of the classic picture book in this special anniversary edition by multiple-award-winner Anthony Browne.

  3. Quick, Little Monkey! - When Little Monkey’s curiosity causes her to slip and fall to the dark, shadowy rainforest floor, she must hide—quick!—because an ocelot is looking for lunch. Thanks to Papa, Little Monkey knows just what to do to stay safe. And thanks to her own wit and speed, she escapes. But no sooner is she safe from the ocelot than she finds herself wrapped in the coils of an emerald tree boa. This exciting adventure will enthrall readers as Little Monkey faces one challenge after another and will also teach them about the fascinating lives of pygmy marmoset monkeys, the smallest monkeys in the world.

Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!