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Five Little Monkeys Sitting in a Tree

May 25, 2011

By: Carisa Kluver

The Digital Media Diet

This is another 'Five Monkeys' book from the beloved book series by Eileen Christelow. Like Five Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, this is an adorably illustrated ebook based on a print title published in 2000. When I checked the Amazon.com reviews for the print version I discovered dozens of 5 star reviews - the series is just that good. In digital form, these books are transformed with sound, interactivity and text that highlights as it is read.

In this story, the monkeys are on a picnic with Mama and while she naps, they all climb into a tree and begin taunting a crocodile. One by one, they appear to fall into the river and get eaten with a 'SNAP!' This could be disturbing to both parents and children, but as it turns out, the monkeys were actually 'pretending' to get eaten to tease 'mister crocodile'. If you look closely, you can even see them hiding by identifying the fabric of each monkey's outfit hidden in the leaves. When they reveal their 'shenanigans' to the terrified on-lookers, Mama scolds them saying, "Never tease a crocodile. It's not nice - and it's dangerous."

Beyond this scolding, though, there isn't much mention of how what they did was not only dangerous, but also rather cruel to their mother and the other adults scrambling alongside the river. They do offer the crocodile a banana and some cake in the end, as a kind of apology, but depending on the child, this lesson could be a bit confusing. Otherwise this is a really fun title, with Christelow's delightful illustrations. And most children are not likely to encounter crocodiles very often in the real world, thankfully.

Like the Seuss books (also by OceanHouse Media), this book is interactive in a way that enhances early reading skills.  Most images (the monkeys, Mr. Crocodile, the tree, plus actions like 'climb'), can be tapped to hear the words aloud while the word brienfly appears over the illustration.  For example, touch the tree in any scene and the word "tree" appears and is spoken aloud by the narrator. You can even 'count' the monkeys on nearly every page by tapping their heads in order from right to left.

The book is nicely narrated with monkey sounds in the background and a great 'snapping' sound. It has easy page turning and a nice array of settings, although the interactive elements have sound even with the 'sound' setting on 'off' so for silent reading time, mute the device. This is a great title for pre-readers, reading learners and children up to age 8 to read to themselves.

All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.


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Five Little Monkeys Sitting in a Tree

May 25, 2011

By: Carisa Kluver

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Eileen Christelow

Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Length (time):
5 - 8 Minutes

Based on non-digital book: Yes

Allows Own Narration:

Uses Motion: No

Age: 3 - 8 +

English •

Length (pages):
29 Pages


Story Synopsis - Five Little Monkeys Sitting in a Tree

The five little monkeys go on a picnic in this follow up title to "Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed". While Mama naps, they climb a tree and begin taunting Mr. Crocodile. One by one, they appear to get eaten with a big 'Snap' of Mr. Crocodile's toothy jaws. Despite the terrified pleas of on-lookers and Mama herself along the riverbank, the monkeys continue to disappear until they are all gone. But wait! There are 5 monkey tails visible hanging from the tree. It turns out all five monkeys were 'pretending' to fall into the river, hiding one by one after the crocodile gets close to eating them. Greatly relieved, Mama scolds them about the danger of teasing a crocodile. As an apology, they give the crocodile a snack from their picnic lunch.


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Orientation: Landscape

Format: Universal


Read to Me, Read Myself, AutoPlay, Sound On/Off, News On/Off

App Release Date:


Size: 19.8 MB

Version: 1.08

Lite Version Available: No



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