Monkey Boy, By Donovan Bixely

Monkey Boy, by Donovan Bixley, really is a boys novel. Of course, that isn’t to say that those of the female gender won’t enjoy it, but it does generally cater for the rough-and-tumble, blood-and-guts spirit of a young boy. Jimmy Grimholt, the character which Monkey Boy follows, really embodies the adventurous essence that makes up a little boys dreams. He is funny and strong, with a bit of grime and charisma. As soon as you read the first page, you get the sense that he is bound for adventure.

Bixely has used vivid and imaginative language that greatly reflects the visually dynamic illustrations he has provided. Monkey Boy is brought to life with great imagery, and filled out with equally great illustrations; the cherry on top being the helpful infographics dotted throughout. The language that Bixely has used emits a very boyish tone right from the first turn of the page. This adds to its charm, especially for its chosen demographic. Some of the scenarios and phrases used are reasonably cliché in terms of the genre, but I think that overall it added to Monkey Boy’s charm (which is hard to get away with I might add!)

Over all, Monkey Boy is a fantastic story for any fun-loving, adventurous, rough-and-tumble child. It is unique and innovative, the characters are engaging, and the illustrations add an entire new level to the world laid out by the colourful language.

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Kristen Nicholas is a passionate young advocate of all things literature. Her main love lies with Young Adult and Children’s writing/reading, though she greatly enjoys other genres also. Her favourite authors are Ilsa J. Bick and Louise Rennison. Kristen lives in Wellington with her family, and is currently completing study to work with her second passion in life, animals.

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