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Meet the bad boys (and girls) of the primate world. Playful, poetic text and vibrant art introduce young readers to howler monkeys. Extra facts within the text give readers the low-down on these loud, sloppy, and rude rain forest dwellers.
Sayre's (Trout Are Made of Trees) latest is a rhyming introduction to the howler monkeys of Central and South America. Verses appear in a jaunty typeface atop newcomer Miller's full-bleed spreads; prose paragraphs in smaller type provide additional information. The rhymes often suggests that the howlers' lives are more carefree than those of readers ("Sister claims a branch,/ yet no one says to share./ She never has to bathe./ Her suit is wash-and-wear!"). A recurring chorus reproduces the howlers' cry ("Woo-hoo-hoo! AH-UH-OH!"); the repetition doesn't add much to the story, but offers a chance to howl along. And readers will take great pleasure in the "special message" howlers send to intruders, human or otherwise: "They often urinate close to or on the invader to mark their territories." The surfaces of Miller's mixed-media drawings are fuzzy and heavily worked, the rain forest-green palette offset by cloudy pastel skies. They're energetic, too; the howlers leap from branch to branch, scaring nearby birds and tearing leaves off trees for a snack. A solid read-aloud for young animal enthusiasts. Ages 4-7. (Feb.) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.