Friday, July 24, 2015

APES A-GO-GO! Picture book review

There's a reason this title is in all caps.
That's the way it's written on the cover.
Also, that's the tone of this book. Big. Raucous. Fun!

Title: APES A-GO-GO!
Author: Roman Milisic
Illustrator: A. Richard Allen
Publisher: Knopf, 2014 (UK), US release 2015
Intended Age: 4-8
Themes: Cleaning, Good Intentions, Community
First Line: "Once upon a time, there was a lovely town. It was so well kept that it was set to win the Tidiest Town Competition for the third year in a row."

Synopsis: When the persnickety mayor notices that one detail is out-of-whack, a series of Great Apes tries to fix it with comical results.

What I like About this Book: There is a even mix of humorous child and parent appeal in this read aloud. The mayor is the stand-in for a parent who wants things done RIGHT. And the apes are the child-like foils who want to fix things, are completely well-intentioned, but don't always understand how their "fix" will have unintended results. It's probably not a spoiler alert to say that things go downhill quickly!
The author uses a fun read aloud (shout aloud!?) refrain - "Bogo! Pogo! Apes A-Go-Go!" that made me want to beat my chest in Tarzan-like fashion. The illustrator's use of black line over scenes washed with color added energy. The yellow, blue and pink skies, and brown, purple, green, orange and blue apes felt genuine and playful. And who can resist an ape in oven mitts! (FUN FACT - the author is a NY fashion designer who has designed for Lady Gaga)

Watch the trailer! Here.

Learn about apes. and Easy Science for Kids have material for this age group.

Is there something at home that needs fixing? Brainstorm solutions and talk about the pros and cons of each suggestion. Try the one deemed best. Do other unexpected problems arise?

Discuss if the town is better at the start of the story, or at the end.

Bake a cake.

For older readers- compare the apes in this book to the ape characters in Furious George Goes Bananas (by Michael Rex), Ding Dong Ding Dong (by Margie Palatini) and Look! (by Jeff Mack).

Note: I received a review copy from Random House in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was received.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thanks for stopping by! I love to know what you think of my selections.


  1. Sounds hilarious! I'll have to check it out. :)

    1. It is full of kid-friendly chaos! Thanks for stopping by in the summer.