Review Blog

Apr 08 2009

Ape by Martin Jenkins and Vicky White

cover image

Walker Books, 2009.
(Ages : Lower Primary) Recommended. A beautifully illustrated and informative picture book for younger readers, Ape will enthrall, delight and inform those who open its pages. The opening lines draw the reader into reading further to find out about the four rare apes around the world. Each; Orag-utan, Chimp, Bonobo and Gorilla is given between 6 and 8 pages in which basic details are given about their lives. The reader learns bout their habitat, eating habits, family groups and where they sleep. All is told in spare sentences, in large print, with no unnecessary words or embellishment.
The black and white illustrations reflect the words on each page, so that younger readers can see for themselves just how closely these four apes resemble the fifth ape, humans. The faces, postures, gestures and expressions are all familiar to us all, as we see them everyday reflected in our friends and families. In the last four pages, this is reiterated, and the similarities between each of the five apes are underlined. The last page gives information along with a map, about the endangered nature of four of the ape families, contrasting their declining populations with our burgeoning numbers. The whole is a wonderful picture book introduction to younger readers about the ape family, as well as the twin issues of conservation and overpopulation. A small index and web addresses for further research finish the book.
Fran Knight

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