Peanut by David Lucas

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Peanut by David Lucas

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath
Reviewed by Keith Dudhnath
Summary: A sweet tale of a tiny monkey who thinks he's a peanut. There's a lovely message for nervous children, but Peanut also works as a fun story in its own right. Recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: October 2009
Publisher: Walker Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1406319583

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One day, a flower opens up and a little monkey the colour of a pea pops out. He soon turns brown, and is the size of a nut, so of course he decides he's a peanut called Peanut. Peanut is a nervous little thing: dragonflies are monsters coming to eat him, the rain is the sky falling down, and night is the end of the world. Thankfully, he meets Beetle, who sets him straight about a thing or two.

What an utterly sweet book. As soon as Peanut starts worrying about all the little things, you're immediately on his side, and just want to tell him it'll all be alright. Any children who fret too much are going to identify with him, but will also perhaps start to realise that they don't need to worry about the things that make them nervous. Even just reading it as a simple story, ignoring the message, it's charming and engaging.

David Lucas' illustrations are lovely. He really gets to let loose with jungle scenes full of multicoloured leaves and vibrant animals. Peanut himself is just a little sweety, made all the more interesting by his long tail. Every page is a delight to pore over, and take in all the wonders of the world - parents and children will love comparing just how fascinating everything is, with how scary Peanut wrongly thinks things are.

The text is clear and direct, making it ideal for very young book fans. The vocabulary is simple enough to be easily understood by children of any age, but it's never dull. Peanut is a fine addition to any bookshelf. Recommended.

My thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.

The Clever Stick by John Lechner is another sweet book about trying to find your place in the world. A Very Strange Creature by Ronda Armitage and Layn Marlow features the mistaken identity of newborns. For straight-up monkey fun, take a look at Banana by Ed Vere.

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