Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

A Humorous Mystery Children's Book

Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

A Humorous Mystery Children's Book

Article excerpt

A Humorous Mystery Children's Book Brian Selznick and David Serlin. Baby Monkey, Private Eye. New York: Scholastic Press, 2018. $16.99. ISBN: 978-1-338-18061-9. 192pp.

This illustrated children's book is primarily black and while with a few accents of red on objects that the Baby Monkey, Private Eye, finds for his or her clients. This is a unique book because it relies on pretty intricate drawings rather than on color drawings that mostly fill in colors rather than sketching in details. For example, the Baby Monkey has glowing, multi-layered eyes, and its shaded and made to look three-dimensional and unique. It is a bit repetitive as the Baby Monkey repeats a pattern of being encountered by a new client, looks for clues, writes notes, eats a snack (usually a fruit or a vegetable), puts on his pants (across nine pages or so), and then solves the case without any explanation other than the missing item being found and the culprit being tied up, after which the Baby Monkey is celebrated in a newspaper as a hero. These types of repetitions are formulaic to most children's books. …

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