Joshua’s Bookshelf!: Little Monkey Calms Down, by Michael Dahl

[This review is based on an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) digital edition published by the Picture Window Books imprint of Capstone Books in 2014, and provided by NetGalley.]

Little Monkey Calms Down is due to be published on February 1, 2014. You can pre-order it here.

So what’s it about?
Poor Little Monkey! His ice cream fell out of its cone and onto the floor. A tantrum ensues, and then Little Monkey employs some coping techniques to help himself calm down again.

What did we think of the book?
The first thing I noticed was how completely adorable the illustrations were, and just how much the mid-tantrum Little Monkey looked like Joshua! He and I had a good laugh about that, making funny faces and saying, “WAAAAHHH!!” at the pictures of Little Monkey screaming and crying. Once we got past the giggly opening to the book and into the serious message, we read the story once and then started over. During the second reading, I explained to Joshua about the repetitive text; post-tantrum, every page begins with, “Calm down, Little Monkey”, and Joshua started saying, “Calm down!” every time we looked at a new page. After each reminder to calm down comes another coping technique: “It’s okay to cry.” “Cuddle with your blankie.” “Take a deep breath.” “Sing a quiet song.” “Be still and relax.” Along with each technique comes another ridiculously cute illustration, and the depiction of Little Monkey’s parents on the last pages of the book emphasized the importance of parents playing with their children. I found myself wishing that more of these Little Monkey books were available for purchase, so I did some research and discovered that Michael Dahl has, in fact, published an entire series called Hello Genius, which is available for purchase through Capstone Books. You can also learn more about Mr. Dahl himself here.

Would we add it to Joshua’s bookshelf?
This is exactly the type of book that every parent, guardian, and preschool teacher should have in their library. Aside from the fact that it made us laugh at the beginning, I really loved the message it sent (“Calm down, Little Monkey. It’s okay to cry”) and the way it described Little Monkey gradually coming down from his tantrum. It’s a skill set that Joshua still needs to develop, so Little Monkey Calms Down will, without question, be sticking around on his bookshelf! If you have a young child, it’s worth a read!