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Apes And Monkeys: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about apes and monkeys?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to apes and monkeys. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about apes and monkeys.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.

When it comes to children’s stories about apes and monkeys, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Doctor Dolittle’s Zoo to popular sellers like The One and Only Ivan to some of our favorite hidden gems like Curious George.

We hope this list of kids books about apes and monkeys can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

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Top 10 Books About Apes And Monkeys

#1
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Warning: Do Not Open This Book!
Written by Adam Lehrhaupt & illustrated by Matthew Forsythe
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

CAUTION! This book contains monkeys, toucans, and a whole lot of silliness.You really shouldn’t be opening this book.

I’m serious.

Just put it back on the shelf.

Right…now.

You’re still reading this?

Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you…

It looks like a book, it feels like a book, and it even smells like a book. But watch out…madness and mayhem lie within! Debut author Adam Lehrhaupt urges you NOT to take a walk on the wild side in this humorous, interactive romp with inventive and engaging illustrations from Eisner Award-winning comic artist and rising star children’s book illustrator Matthew Forsythe.

This quirky, subversive creation begs to be enjoyed again and again and again.

#2
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Great Joy
Written by Kate DiCamillo & illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

It is just before Christmas when an organ grinder and monkey appear on the street outside Frances’s apartment. When it’s quiet she can hear their music, and when she looks out her window at midnight, she sees them sleeping outside. Finally the day of the Christmas pageant arrives, but when it’s Frances’s turn to speak, all she can think about is the organ grinder’s sad eyes—until a door opens just in time, and she finds the perfect words to share. With this luminous tale, Kate DiCamillo pairs with Bagram Ibatoulline to offer a timeless holiday gift.

#3
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Mad about Monkeys
Written & illustrated by Owen Davey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Ever wonder what monkeys are and what makes them so special?

With over 250 species inhabiting our planet, this book explores the many different types of monkeys from the smallest Pygmy Marmoset to the largest Mandrill as well as providing all the facts you wanted to know and more. Discover where monkeys come from, how they swing from tree to tree and why they fight and play with each other. After reading this beautifully illustrated book by Owen Davey, you’ll soon you’ll be raving mad about monkeys!

#4
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The Opposite Zoo
Written & illustrated by Il Sung Na
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

From the creator of A Book of Sleep and A Book of Babies comes a beautiful new book of animals—and opposites!

The sky is dark and the Opposite Zoo is CLOSED. But the monkey’s cage is OPEN! Time to explore. . .

Follow the monkey as he visits all the animals in the zoo: fast and slow, big and small, noisy and quiet, soft and prickly! Filled with energetic illustrations, friendly animals, and a simple text, The Opposite Zoo is a fun and lively introduction to animals and opposites.

Praise for Il Sung Na:

“Il Sung Na’s illustrative art is so joyous, so jubilantly colorful, it feels celebratory and poetic even when the story is simple and spare.” —The Boston Globe (A Book of Babies)

“[A] grand read-aloud.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred (Welcome Home, Bear)

“It’s the rare picture book that, upon arrival, feels as though it has been around for years already; Na’s belongs to this group.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred (A Book of Sleep)

“Vibrant [and] whimsical.” —School Library Journal, Starred (Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit)

#5
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The Opposite Zoo
Written & illustrated by Il Sung Na
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

From the creator of A Book of Sleep and A Book of Babies comes a beautiful new book of animals—and opposites!

The sky is dark and the Opposite Zoo is CLOSED. But the monkey’s cage is OPEN! Time to explore. . .

Follow the monkey as he visits all the animals in the zoo: fast and slow, big and small, noisy and quiet, soft and prickly! Filled with energetic illustrations, friendly animals, and a clear, simple text—all wrapped up in a gorgeous package—The Opposite Zoo is a fun and lively introduction to animals and opposites for the youngest picture-book audience.

“Na brings fresh energy to the familiar. With a coloring style that feels as if someone took a firecracker to a box of crayons, Na makes turtle shells as dynamic as a peacock’s plumage.” —The New York Times Book Review

#6
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Good Night, Gorilla
Written & illustrated by Peggy Rathmann
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

A must-have board book for all babies.

Good night, Gorilla. Good night, Elephant.

It’s bedtime at the zoo, and all the animals are going to sleep. Or are they? Who’s that short, furry guy with the key in his hand and the mischievous grin?

Good night, Giraffe. Good night, Hyena.

Sneak along behind the zookeeper’s back, and see who gets the last laugh in this riotous good-night romp.

#7
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Curious George
Written & illustrated by H. A. Rey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

In this, the original book about the curious monkey, George is taken from the jungle by the man in the yellow hat to live in a new home, but—oh, what happened! Though trying to be good, George is still very curious and takes a swim in the ocean, escapes from jail, and goes for a flying ride on a bunch of balloons. This treasured classic is where it all began for the curious, loveable monkey and is a must have for any children’s book collection.

#8
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Me . . . Jane
Written & illustrated by Patrick McDonnell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

In his characteristic heartwarming style, Patrick McDonnell tells the story of the young Jane Goodall and her special childhood toy chimpanzee named Jubilee. As the young Jane observes the natural world around her with wonder, she dreams of “a life living with and helping all animals,” until one day she finds that her dream has come true. One of the world’s most inspiring women, Dr. Jane Goodall is a renowned humanitarian, conservationist, animal activist, environmentalist, and United Nations Messenger of Peace. In 1977 she founded the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), a global nonprofit organization that empowers people to make a difference for all living things. With anecdotes taken directly from Jane Goodall’s autobiography, McDonnell makes this very true story accessible for the very young—and young at heart.

#9
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Caps for Sale
Written & illustrated by Esphyr Slobodkina
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Caps for Sale is a timeless classic, in print for over fifty years, and beloved by generations of readers. This easy-to-read story about a peddler and a band of mischievous monkeys is filled with warmth, humor, and simplicity. Children will delight in following the peddlers efforts to outwit the monkeys in this new, enlarged, and redesigned edition, and will ask to read it again and again.

#10
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I Love You, Elephant!
Written & illustrated by Carles Ballesteros
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

With the turn of each page, young readers share the love Monkey feels for his friends! “I love you!” is the refrain on each spread of this joyful story. Readers will delight in seeing new faces appear and then change when the page is turned, thanks to the magical Venetian blind element built into the book. This sweet novelty board book is great fun to read aloud, and the perfect addition to our Changing Faces series.

Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Apes And Monkeys and...

Books About Apes And Monkeys and Animals

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Mad about Monkeys
Written & illustrated by Owen Davey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Ever wonder what monkeys are and what makes them so special?

With over 250 species inhabiting our planet, this book explores the many different types of monkeys from the smallest Pygmy Marmoset to the largest Mandrill as well as providing all the facts you wanted to know and more. Discover where monkeys come from, how they swing from tree to tree and why they fight and play with each other. After reading this beautifully illustrated book by Owen Davey, you’ll soon you’ll be raving mad about monkeys!

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Me . . . Jane
Written & illustrated by Patrick McDonnell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

In his characteristic heartwarming style, Patrick McDonnell tells the story of the young Jane Goodall and her special childhood toy chimpanzee named Jubilee. As the young Jane observes the natural world around her with wonder, she dreams of “a life living with and helping all animals,” until one day she finds that her dream has come true. One of the world’s most inspiring women, Dr. Jane Goodall is a renowned humanitarian, conservationist, animal activist, environmentalist, and United Nations Messenger of Peace. In 1977 she founded the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), a global nonprofit organization that empowers people to make a difference for all living things. With anecdotes taken directly from Jane Goodall’s autobiography, McDonnell makes this very true story accessible for the very young—and young at heart.

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Where's My Mom?
Written by Julia Donaldson & illustrated by Axel Scheffler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A butterfly tries to help a lost young monkey find its mother in the jungle, meeting many different animals along the way.

Honorable Mentions
I Have a Balloon book
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Owls are Good at Keeping Secrets: An Unusual Alphabet book
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When Your Monkeys Won't Go to Bed book
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Doctor Dolittle's Zoo book
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  1. I Have a Balloon - Owl has a balloon. Monkey does not. What will happen next? Hint: this is not a book about sharing. Owl has a red balloon. Monkey does not. “That red balloon matches my shiny red tie,” says Monkey. “I’d look fancy walking to school with a shiny red balloon. The only thing I’ve ever wanted, since right now, is a shiny, big red balloon. It would make me SO HAPPY!” But Owl does not want to give it to him. So Monkey tries to find something that Owl wants: a teddy bear, a robot, a picture of TEN balloons. Owl does not want any of these things. But then, Monkey offers him…a sock! Hmmmmm…Owl is intrigued. Will he trade his shiny red balloon with Monkey?

  2. Owls are Good at Keeping Secrets: An Unusual Alphabet - A delightful book of curious, little-known “facts” about animals—one for each letter of the alphabet! Did you know that chipmunks love to stay up past their bedtime? Or that dragons cry at happy endings? I bet you’d never have guessed that iguanas sometimes get homesick at sleepovers. Sara O’Leary pulls back the curtain on the animal world and gives us an absolutely charming little one-line “fact” about one animal for each letter of the alphabet. Kids will love to see their own quirks reflected in these adorably rendered creatures, and perhaps will be comforted to know that—just like them—narwhals can be perfectly happy all on their own and quail also get tired of being told to be quiet. This is more than just an alphabet book. It’s a charming, hilarious, and touching look at the diversity of personalities in the world—worth many, many rereads.

  3. When Your Monkeys Won't Go to Bed - When your monkeys won’t go to bed, you’ll have to use lots of tricks to make them sleepy! This charming and hilarious board book highlights the many ways to tire out two wide-awake monkeys! Do your monkeys go wild at bedtime? When your monkeys won’t go to bed, you’ll have to be smart. After you race them upstairs and trick them into the tub, it’s time to convince them to get into bed. Let them pick out a good book—or five—and snuggle in close. But be careful…or you just might fall asleep, too!

  4. Doctor Dolittle's Zoo - Doctor Dolittle’s Zoo is an animal home, not a prison, and the animals come and go as they please. But a visitor to the Rat and Mouse Club reveals a mystery at nearby Moorsden Manor, which Tommy Stubbins and the animals are determined to solve.

Books About Apes And Monkeys and The Zoo

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Good Night, Gorilla
Written & illustrated by Peggy Rathmann
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

A must-have board book for all babies.

Good night, Gorilla. Good night, Elephant.

It’s bedtime at the zoo, and all the animals are going to sleep. Or are they? Who’s that short, furry guy with the key in his hand and the mischievous grin?

Good night, Giraffe. Good night, Hyena.

Sneak along behind the zookeeper’s back, and see who gets the last laugh in this riotous good-night romp.

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The One and Only Ivan
Written by Katherine Applegate & illustrated by Patricia Castelao
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Soon to be a major motion picture! This Harper Classic edition of the Newbery Medal winner and #1 New York Times bestseller includes an author’s note, a letter from the real Ivan’s caretaker at Zoo Atlanta, Ivan’s “signature,” discussion questions, and more. This unforgettable novel from renowned author Katherine Applegate celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendship. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated book is told from the point of view of Ivan himself. Having spent twenty-seven years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes. In the tradition of timeless classics such as Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little. Katherine Applegate’s novel blends humor and poignancy to create this incredible tale of friendship, art, and hope. The One and Only Ivan was named to multiple state lists, received three starred reviews, and was hailed as a best book of the year by Kirkus, School Library Journal, and Amazon. Plus don’t miss Katherine Applegate’s Endling series!

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The Opposite Zoo
Written & illustrated by Il Sung Na
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

From the creator of A Book of Sleep and A Book of Babies comes a beautiful new book of animals—and opposites!

The sky is dark and the Opposite Zoo is CLOSED. But the monkey’s cage is OPEN! Time to explore. . .

Follow the monkey as he visits all the animals in the zoo: fast and slow, big and small, noisy and quiet, soft and prickly! Filled with energetic illustrations, friendly animals, and a simple text, The Opposite Zoo is a fun and lively introduction to animals and opposites.

Praise for Il Sung Na:

“Il Sung Na’s illustrative art is so joyous, so jubilantly colorful, it feels celebratory and poetic even when the story is simple and spare.” —The Boston Globe (A Book of Babies)

“[A] grand read-aloud.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred (Welcome Home, Bear)

“It’s the rare picture book that, upon arrival, feels as though it has been around for years already; Na’s belongs to this group.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred (A Book of Sleep)

“Vibrant [and] whimsical.” —School Library Journal, Starred (Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit)

Honorable Mentions
The Opposite Zoo book
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The Wild Field Trip book
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Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla book
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Ninita's Big World book
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  1. The Opposite Zoo - From the creator of A Book of Sleep and A Book of Babies comes a beautiful new book of animals—and opposites! The sky is dark and the Opposite Zoo is CLOSED. But the monkey’s cage is OPEN! Time to explore. . . Follow the monkey as he visits all the animals in the zoo: fast and slow, big and small, noisy and quiet, soft and prickly! Filled with energetic illustrations, friendly animals, and a clear, simple text—all wrapped up in a gorgeous package—The Opposite Zoo is a fun and lively introduction to animals and opposites for the youngest picture-book audience. “Na brings fresh energy to the familiar. With a coloring style that feels as if someone took a firecracker to a box of crayons, Na makes turtle shells as dynamic as a peacock’s plumage.” —The New York Times Book Review

  2. The Wild Field Trip - While on a school field trip to the zoo, Harry accidentally allows the monkeys to escape their habitat, and he thinks he can fix the mess using one of his superhero inventions.

  3. Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla - 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.

  4. Ninita's Big World - “The heart-tugging true story of how YouTube star Ninita—a deaf, orphaned pygmy marmoset (the smallest type of monkey)—found family, friendship, and a forever home! Illustrated in full color. Ninita is the only known deaf pygmy marmoset in the world, but that doesn’t stop her from making friends and chasing her next adventure! Abandoned by her parents and rescued by the RSCF, this tiny, curious monkey loves exploring her habitat. And when she meets Mr. Big—another pygmy marmoset—she has finally found a friend who likes to eat, climb, and play as much as she does. A YouTube celebrity, Ninita’s videos have been viewed nearly 2 million times! “

Want to see books about the zoo?

Books About Apes And Monkeys and Counting And Numbers

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Mr. Monkey's Numbers
Written & illustrated by Becky Baur
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Explore and identify numbers in this stylish lift-the-flap board book from a standout new artist. Who has been eating all the food? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 sneaky monkeys! Featuring a bunch of funny, funky monkeys, this board book introduces young children to numbers from 1 to 5. Toddlers will love the bright colors and flaps they’ll find on every page.

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Count the Monkeys
Written by Mac Barnett & illustrated by Kevin Cornell and Mac Barnett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Kids will giggle as they count all the animals that have frightened the monkeys off the pages. Full of fun reader interactions and keeps readers guessing until the very last page! Matching Mac Barnett’s brilliant wit are Kevin Cornell’s luminous illustrations, which will have young readers begging to count the monkeys all over again.

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Good Night, Baboon!: A Bedtime Counting Book
Written by Sabrina Moyle & illustrated by Eunice Moyle
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

Good Night, Baboon! stars one very cheeky baby baboon who’s just too jazzed to slumber as he bounces through a countdown of sleepy animals brushing their teeth, reading bedtime stories, until finally:
 
2 lazy llamas,
all tucked in snug.
Now look who’s ready for . . .
1 big hug!

 
With its vibrant art and cheerful rhyming text, plus a countdown from one to ten, the book is a joy for grown-ups and children to read aloud together.
 
Created by Eunice Moyle and Sabrina Moyle, the sister team behind the award-winning design studio Hello!Lucky, Good Night, Baboon! features the bright and appealing style that has made their previous children’s books bestsellers and their stationery and other products so popular across all ages.

Honorable Mentions
Five Little Monkeys book
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Five Little Monkeys Play Hide and Seek book
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Five Little Monkeys 5-Minute Stories book
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What's for Lunch? book
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  1. Five Little Monkeys - While their mother takes a nap, five mischievous monkeys discover that it is unwise to tease Mr. Crocodile.

  2. Five Little Monkeys Play Hide and Seek - The best-selling Five Little Monkeys are getting into trouble yet again—this time while playing a classic game of hide-and-seek in this board book addition to the enormously popular series. Mama’s out dancing, and Lulu, the babysitter, is in charge. The Five Little Monkeys are supposed to go to bed, but they convince Lulu there’s time for just one game of hide-and-seek first . . . and then another, and another . . . until they discover the ultimate hiding place. Vibrant, expressive illustrations in Eileen Christelow’s signature style accompany a catchy rhyming text that’s great for reading aloud in this sturdy board book edition. The refrain invites children to join in; as Lulu counts to 10, 24, and finally 104, young listeners will count along with her. And what little monkey can resist the idea of mischief at bedtime?

  3. Five Little Monkeys 5-Minute Stories - Eight exciting adventures with the five little monkeys are packed into one beautiful treasury. Each story can be read aloud in just five minutes! There’s plenty of monkey business in this collection of eight funny stories about the five little monkeys by best-selling author-illustrator Eileen Christelow. Come along with the lovable monkeys on their mischievous adventures as they do everything from jump on the bed to bake a cake to tease a hungry crocodile—and much more. With a padded cover, full-color illustrations, and stories that can be read aloud in just five minutes, this is the perfect book for bedtime, storytime, anytime!

  4. What's for Lunch? - As toddlers pull a cardboard monkey on a string through die-cut holes, they learn the numbers one through ten and the names of ten fruits in an interactive book by the author of The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Books About Apes And Monkeys and Feelings And Emotions

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Grumpy Monkey
Written by Suzanne Lang & illustrated by Max Lang
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A hilarious picture book about dealing with unexplained feelings…and the danger in suppressing them!

Jim the chimpanzee is in a terrible mood for no good reason. His friends can’t understand it—how can he be in a bad mood when it’s SUCH a beautiful day? They encourage him not to hunch, to smile, and to do things that make THEM happy. But Jim can’t take all the advice…and has a BIT of a meltdown. Could it be that he just needs a day to feel grumpy?

Suzanne and Max Lang bring hilarity and levity to this very important lesson. This picture book is an excellent case study in the dangers of putting on a happy face and demonstrates to kids that they are allowed to feel their feelings (though they should be careful of hurting others in the process!).

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I Love You, Elephant!
Written & illustrated by Carles Ballesteros
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

With the turn of each page, young readers share the love Monkey feels for his friends! “I love you!” is the refrain on each spread of this joyful story. Readers will delight in seeing new faces appear and then change when the page is turned, thanks to the magical Venetian blind element built into the book. This sweet novelty board book is great fun to read aloud, and the perfect addition to our Changing Faces series.

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The Guild Of Geniuses
Written & illustrated by Dan Santat
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Are you having a bad weather day? You should try Dr. Lancaster’s Portable Weather Machine. Want to rise above it all? Check out Dr. Torrance’s Anti-Gravity Belt. Yes, THE GUILD OF GENIUSES has created many fantastic inventions to satisfy humanity’s most pressing needs…

So when Fred’s best friend Mr. Pip seems a little down, Fred knows just who to call. The Guild introduces Mr. Pip to other monkeys (in case he was lonely) and throws him a parade (so he can feel important). But it turns out Fred may hold the solution after all — and he doesn’t have to be a genius to be a good friend.

Honorable Mentions
Cuddle Monkey book
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Hug book
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Leyla book
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  1. Cuddle Monkey - 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.

  2. Hug - Bobo needs a hug. But his friends don’t seem to understand. “Hug,” he implores, time and again. Time and again his puzzled pals — from the smallest chameleon to the tallest giraffe — shrug and cuddle with their jungle mothers. As the lonely chimp’s plea escalates, his friends grow concerned. Can the elephants lead Bobo to his heart’s desire? Jez Alborough transforms a total of three words — and some of the most tenderly expressive animals ever created — into an endearing tribute to love and belonging.

  3. Leyla - Leyla is sick of her big, loud, overbearing family. They are always chatting, snuggling, and grooming each other (ew!), and—for Leyla—there’s no escape from their attention. So, she decides to run away until she can’t hear (or smell) her baboon troop anymore. In the middle of her desert habitat, she finds a lizard sunning himself. Unlike her family, the lizard loves to sit alone, be quiet, and do absolutely nothing at all. Leyla joins the lizard, and after soaking up some quiet time, she feels recharged and ready to return home to her large, ever-doting family. Now that she knows where she can always find a little peace, Leyla can embrace the chaos and the kisses with open arms. From the celebrated author-illustrator of I Am a Cat, Leyla shows kids how to appreciate both the wild and the mild.

Books About Apes And Monkeys and Gorillas

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Look!
Written & illustrated by Jeff Mack
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Everyone needs a little attention from time to time. Just ask our gorilla who will stop at nothing to be noticed by the boy with his eyes glued to the TV set. But for the gorilla, it’s going to take more than a quiet nudge to steal away the boy’s attention. When his usual antics fail to catch the boy’s eye-Look Out!The gorilla has some other tricks up his sleeve. Using only two words-Look and Out-Jeff Mack relates an adorably hilarious story about an attention-loving gorilla, a television-loving boy, and a friendship that develops over books. Simple in construct yet richly creative, this interactive and colorful tale will leave children laughing and loving books for years to come. Perfect for fans of It’s a Book and Officer Buckle and Gloria.

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Second Banana
Written & illustrated by Keith Graves
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

“A picture book about Oop, a gorilla, who is second banana to The Amazing Mr. Bubbles, a monkey, until one day, Mr. Bubbles finds himself in trouble and Oop has to save the day”—

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Gorilla Dawn
Written & illustrated by Gill Lewis
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-13

“It is time, Imara. Imara left the shadows and stepped into the pool of moonlight, listening to the demon as he paced inside her mind. It is time, Imara. The men are waiting for you. They are waiting for your power to protect them. She knelt down and poured the contents of her water bottle into the ashes of last night’s fire, stirring with her fingers, working the mixture into a gritty paste. All around her, the forest was dark and still, wrapped in silence. Nothing moved. High above in the canopy, a pale mist clung to the leaves. Thin tendrils of vapor hung in the air, as if the trees were holding their breath, waiting for the dawn. The Black Mamba and his men were folded into the deep moon-shadows. Only the cold light catching the metal of their rifles told they were not of this place. Come on, Imara, hissed the demon. They’re watching you. Imara’s hands hovered over the ash paste and trembled. Stupid girl. Don’t show your fear. You know what they’ll do if they see your fear. Imara breathed in deeply, filling her lungs with the cool night air. She tried to block her mind from the purpose of her task. She hummed softly, trying to ignore the demon and scooped the ash paste into her hand. Hurry, Imara. They want to see their spirit child.”

Honorable Mentions
Gorilla book
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One Gorilla: A Counting Book book
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Betty Goes Bananas book
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Playtime? book
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  1. Gorilla - 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.

  2. One Gorilla: A Counting Book - Here is a list of the things I love. One gorilla. Two butterflies among my flowers—and one gorilla. Tree budgerigars in my house—and one gorilla. One very playful gorilla keeps popping up in gardens, forests, jungles, and even people’s houses as he takes the reader on a wild counting adventure. He hides—as much as a gorilla can!—along with all the other creatures as they dart, leap, and peer from the most surprising places, waiting to be counted. A chart at the end of the book provides a key to all the animals and their corresponding numbers. Soft, precise illustrations characterize this colorful counting book.

  3. Betty Goes Bananas - Like Molly Bang’s When Sophie Gets Angry—Really, Really Angry, this book offers families a perfect opportunity to openly discuss emotions and behavior. Meet Betty, a gorilla. She wants to eat a banana, but . . . try as she might, she can’t open it! Poor Betty—she just can’t cope, and her frustration quickly becomes a great BIG tantrum. She cries and sniffles, kicks and screams. Luckily, Mr. Toucan is at hand to peel the banana and help Betty calm down. But what will happen when Betty spots another banana? Both preschoolers and parents will laugh out loud at this simple, utterly hilarious picture book about tantrums.

  4. Playtime? - This funny picture book ode to the struggles of bedtime is perfect for fans of Mo Willems’s Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! Bedtime can be a challenge for the best of us. But when you’re a fun-loving, overactive pet gorilla, bedtime is downright hard. Who would want to go to sleep when Playtime is so much more fun? But the gorilla’s responsible friend thinks enough is enough; no more fun and games. It’s not Playtime–It’s Bedtime! So the boy turns off the lights and the gorilla goes . . . Well, definitely NOT to sleep! Using only two words–Playtime and Bedtime–and an abundance of clever, giggle-inducing artwork, Playtime! is simple yet richly creative and bursting with childlike humor. Your own little gorilla will find it irresistible.

Want to see books about gorillas?

Books About Apes And Monkeys and Adventure And Adventurers

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Little Monkey
Written by Julie Abery & illustrated by Suzie Mason
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Little Monkey swings through the jungle until—Oops!—he falls out of a tree. Mama catches him and comforts him and all becomes right again. A sweet story of youthful adventure and motherly love, told with short rhyming lines and warm illustrations.

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Battle of the Pirate Bands
Written by Michael Anthony Steele & illustrated by Pauline Reeves
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Pirates from across the seven seas are gathering for the greatest of pirate competitions. But when the prize trophy is stolen, the Monkey Pirates are framed as the thieves. Can the crew clear their nearly-fearless names? A glossary, discussion questions, and writing prompts round out this exciting adventure story.

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Hunt for the Octo-shark
Written by Michael Anthony Steele & illustrated by Pauline Reeves
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

When the rest of the Nearly Fearless Monkey Pirates don’t believe that octo-sharks are real, Captain Banana Beard insists they go on a hunt for the mythical creature. Will the crew discover anything more than trouble in this swashbuckling adventure?

Honorable Mentions
Attack of the Zombie Mermaids book
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Escape from Haunted Treasure Island book
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  1. Attack of the Zombie Mermaids - Captain Banana Beard thinks that finding Neptune’s Trident will bring him great fortune. But the treasure carries a curse! What will the Nearly Fearless Monkey Pirates do when they come face to face with zombie mermaids?

  2. Escape from Haunted Treasure Island - The Nearly Fearless Monkey Pirates sail to a secret treasure island where they come face to face with pirate ghosts! Will they escape or will they walk the haunted plank?

Books About Apes And Monkeys and Friendship

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Monkey and the Little One
Written & illustrated by Claire Alexander
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Monkey lives all alone in the jungle—and he likes it that way. Then Little One, an adorable mouse, appears and turns Monkey’s life upside down. Wherever Monkey looks, whatever Monkey does, Little One is there and doing it too! But when Monkey finally succeeds in sending Little One away, he feels . . . lonely! Can he win back his friend? With Claire Alexander’s softly hued, tropical artwork and her sibling-friendly message, Monkey and the Little One tenderly teaches children the value of friendship.

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The Genie's Curse
Written & illustrated by Tom Percival
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Meet Jack and his talking chicken Betsy, Red, Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel, and a host of other Little Legends as they have fantastic new adventures! Get to know your favorite fairytale characters like never before in this magical new book series. For Rapunzel, being a princess has been nothing but fun. But everything goes wrong when she breaks a magical urn and blames it on her new friend, Ella. It turns out that the urn was home to a very cross (and now very homeless) genie, who casts a spell making everyone blame Rapunzel for everything that goes wrong in Tale Town! With the help of her friends and a mysterious green monkey called Alphege, can Rapunzel lift the curse and make things right?

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My Life as a Youtuber
Written by Janet Tashjian
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Book 7 of the much-loved My Life series that has the irrepressible Derek Fallon starting his own Youtube web series! Derek Fallon finally found something to get excited about at school—an extracurricular class on making videos! Together with his friends Carly, Matt, and Umberto, Derek can’t wait to create his own Youtube web series. But he soon realizes Youtube stardom is a lot of work. On top of that, it’s time for his foster monkey Frank to go to monkey college so Derek must scramble to find a reason for Frank to stay with his family—if only a little while longer. Can Derek solve both problems at once? What if Frank became a part of Derek’s Youtube videos? Here’s another funny and thoughtful novel in the series that centers around most every tween today’s pastime—Youtube! A Christy Ottaviano Book

Honorable Mentions
Where Is My Balloon? book
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The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me book
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How to Lose a Lemur book
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Momo and Snap Are Not Friends! book
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  1. Where Is My Balloon? - Owl and Monkey from I Have a Balloon are back! But what happened to Owl’s balloon? Find out in this hilarious picture book about making mistakes and finding forgiveness. Owl has a balloon. Monkey has a sock with a star and a perfectly shaped hole. But then Owl asks Monkey to hold his balloon, just for a second. What do you think happens? POP! When Owl returns and asks for his balloon, Monkey offers him everything under the sun…except for the balloon. Can their friendship survive this catastrophe? Kirkus Reviews praised Owl and Monkey’s first adventure, I Have a Balloon, “This tightly paced narrative soars,” in a starred review.

  2. The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me - From the bestselling author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG! The Ladderless Window-Cleaning Company certainly doesn’t. They don’t need a pail, either, because they have a pelican with a bucket-sized beak. With a monkey to do the washing and Billy as their manager, this business is destined for success. Now they have their big break—a chance to clean all 677 windows of the Hampshire House, owned by the richest man in all of England! That’s exciting enough, but along the way there are surprises and adventures beyond their wildest window-washing dreams.

  3. How to Lose a Lemur - Everyone knows that once a lemur takes a fancy to you there is not much that can be done about it. That’s just what happens to a little boy when a lemur begins to follow him in the park one day—and more of the adoring animals join in. The boy does everything to ditch the playful creatures, from jumping on a train to flying in a hot-air balloon to climbing the highest mountain. But nothing works—AND he’s lost, too! It’s then that his constant companions show just why they make the very best of friends. The parade of lovable lemurs, and the playful illustrations, will have children laughing, reading this again and again-and wishing they could have a pet like that, too.

  4. Momo and Snap Are Not Friends! - When Momo and Snap first meet there is conflict, then competitiveness, and finally playfulness, until danger arises and they see the benefits of cooperation and friendship.

Books About Apes And Monkeys and Culture

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Bravelands #4: Shifting Shadows
Written by Erin Hunter
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Set in the African savannah and told from three different animals’ points of view, Bravelands will thrill readers who love Spirit Animals and Wings of Fire, as well as the fans who’ve made Erin Hunter a #1 nationally bestselling phenomenon. A false leader has been destroyed—but Bravelands is still in grave danger. Stinger’s death should have brought peace to the land; but no Great Parent has stepped forward, and now the fate of Bravelands hangs in the balance. With a mysterious threat lurking in their midst, all members of the Great Herd must find the strength to walk the right path or risk the end of Bravelands forever.

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Cloud Tea Monkeys
Written by Mal Peet and Elspeth Graham & 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.

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Summer of the Monkeys
Written by Wilson Rawls
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Fourteen-year-old Jay tries to recover a group of wily monkeys escaped from a circus train in the hopes the reward will buy him the gun and pony he has so long wanted.

Honorable Mentions
A Bucket of Blessings book
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Monkey's Clever Tale book
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  1. A Bucket of Blessings - A beautiful myth from India comes to life in this enchanting, New York Times bestselling picture book. Near a majestic mountain in a vast jungle with many mango trees, it has not rained for weeks and weeks. The village well and pond are dry. Monkey and his friends look everywhere for water, but they have no luck. And then Monkey remembers a story his mama used to tell him, a story about how peacocks can make it rain by dancing. So he sets out to see if the story is true… This little-known legend, told with dramatic rhythm and illustrated with the colors and textures of India, is sure to delight and inspire.

  2. Monkey's Clever Tale - The mischievous Ameerah Monkey promises Crocodile her tail and those of her parents, brothers, and sisters in exchange for a ride across the river in this version of a Jataka tale from India.

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