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Baby Monkey, Private Eye

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  3,462 ratings  ·  772 reviews
Who is Baby Monkey?
He is a baby.
He is a monkey.
He has a job.
He is Baby Monkey, Private Eye!
Lost jewels?
Missing pizza?
Stolen spaceship?
Baby Monkey can help...
if he can put on his pants!

Baby Monkey's adventures come to life in a blend of picture book, beginning reader, and graphic novel.
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published February 27th 2018 by Scholastic Press
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Mandy Laferriere My five year old LOVES this book, and he's pretty picky. The words are very large print, and he's really enjoying trying to read this on his own.

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Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,462 ratings  ·  772 reviews

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Brian Selznick. Honey. We’ve got to talk.

Now look, it was all well and good when you started getting a little crazy and shaking up notions of what an “illustrated book” actually means. Winning the Caldecott for a novel? Never been done before. And the fact that Hugo Cabret and its companion novels Wonderstruck and The Marvels push every conceivable envelope, in terms of what a visual novel can be, is not just noteworthy but historic. But now you’re getting all slick on us. It wasn’t enough to c
The art is all what you expect of a Brian Selznick book. It's fantastic. The story is repetitive and good, not as great as I have come to expect from Brian.

Baby Monkey is a detective and he solves cases really well. The thing is, each chapter is a case and they are all the same accept who did it and the pictures in the room. It's fun to see the differences. Still, there isn't much of a story here, not like even his novels before Hugo Cabret. A beginning reader could easily read this for themselv
David Schaafsma
Each year my family reads all the Goodreads-award-nominated picture books. This is book #13 (of 20) of 2018, an early reader (grades 1-4) by the author of The Invention of Hugo Cabret and other middle grade graphic novels. We really liked this book a lot! It features a baby money who is a private eye. It's a first chapter book with few words and Selznick's typically breathtaking drawings. It's also a mystery short story collection, teaching people to pay attention to clues in the backgrounds (as ...more
mindful.librarian ☀️
As an elementary school librarian, reading teacher, and a parent of a 6-year-old (and several older kids who were once 6), I'll tell you why this book is fabulous: because ALL kindergarten and first graders want in the whole entire world is to be able to check out and read a BIG BOOK. They want one just like the big kids get. The thick ones. With chapters. That's why Selznick's other books are so hot - BIG THICK BOOKS that all kids can experience.

BUT. We keep talking Good Fit Books this and Good
Mar 12, 2018 rated it liked it

This book pretty much had me at the title. I mean come on!!! A Private Eye monkey. Brilliant!

Heavy, smooth, cool to the touch pages with big, easy words and dazzlingly detailed, black & white (with dashes of red) illustrations come together to form Baby Monkey, Private Eye.

I knew this book was supposed to be a blend of picture book and easy reader styles, but I was surprised and honestly a little disappointed with the simplicity here. On one hand, it was a cute story with repeating steps to read
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book makes my heart happy - on so many levels.
Erica Henry
This book was so adorable and of course I love the illustrations.
Ms. Yingling
Feb 14, 2018 rated it liked it
ARC from the publisher at ALA Midwinter

In this very early chapter book, Selznick fuses his trademark cross hatched pencil sketches with addictively repetitive picture book text in a middle grade novel trim size. Still with me? We learn who Baby Monkey is (a baby monkey) and that he has crimes to solve in a particular way, mainly, by looking for clues, writing notes, struggling mightily to put on his pants, and then immediately capturing the culprit. The pictures are adorable, the text (which is
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is kind of an oddball book - 191 pages, yet meant for the youngest readers - but I thought it was adorable. (Don't panic about the page-count: most pages are either wordless, or have less than six words.) Baby Monkey solves several cases by . . . apparently following footprints, and most of the time, the culprit seems to be right outside the door to his office. I doubt that kids will care. They'll be anticipating the repetitious parts about all that Baby Monkey needs to do to get ready to s ...more
Gary Anderson
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Baby Monkey is quite the sleuth when it comes to solving crimes, although he’s not so hot at putting on his pants. The artwork of Brian Selznick (The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Wonderstruck) and stories by Selznick and David Serlin make this early reader book a giggle-inducing winner with its quirky pictures and large, easy-to-read text. Readers with some background knowledge will enjoy figuring out why the artifacts in Baby Monkey’s office change to fit the crime under investigation, although th ...more
Diane Hernandez
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
Cute, funny, easy reader with awesome illustrations. Baby Monkey, Private Eye contains five cases for Baby Monkey, who is of course a baby monkey, to solve.

This is a brilliant mash-up of picture and chapter book. The illustrations are more frequent than words and were my favorite part. Marketed to ages 3-8, this book would be a great group read to children almost ready to read and a great choice for beginning readers. The repetition of text means fewer words for young children to memorize. It al
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: childrens
This is kind of random, but the book before my last one also had Monkey in the title, and I liked it even less than this. Perhaps there's an embedded message?

Cute illustrations, as always in a Brian Selznick book, but this one did not work for me. Great premise: a baby monkey private detective. But, much of his cleverness is not shared with readers. Five clients come to his office to help find something stolen, and he solves the crimes one by one. But, we don't know how. Kind of disappointing ac
If you've ever looked for a combo of picture book, easy reader, chapter book, graphic novel, humor-mystery, this is your book. It's almost too many things, but the experience of reading it with my four-and-a-half year old was definitely five stars.

The text is super simple and repetitive. The illustrations are almost colorless, but very detailed. As in other books by Selznick, the text and illustrations both carry a lot of story weight.

Crowning moment of the whole thing: when my child took the b
Ashlee Null
Jul 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Kind of adorable! I liked it but didn't love it. As a bookseller I'm not sure who I'll give this book to but I'll know them when I see them.
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this at work when all of our systems were down, and this had just arrived. It is incredibly cute, and of course I love Brian Selznick's illustrations. I expected this to be more like a chapter book based on the size, but there are very few words and it qualifies more as a beginning reading book. It has a repetitive structure which works great for kids learning to read, and it doesn't take very long to get through. I thought the text that was present was very charming, and I loved the endi ...more
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
I have read this to three classes (Kindergarten and first grade) and they were over the moon about it. The hand at the door, the tracks, the pants, they loved it all.
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 0-7
With a film noir vibe, minimal text, appealing plot repetition, and a few snack breaks along the way, this brilliant blend of early reader and picture book introduces one seriously adorable, wardrobe-challenged detective, Baby Monkey, who is quite the accomplished crime solver. The pants! The snacks! The scene shifts! The criminals!

Kids will appreciate the easy font and gorgeous, classically Selznick pencil sketches. Astute parents will chuckle at the clues hidden in each office scene (and thos
Feb 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is damn near 5 stars. It absolutely stole my heart before we even got to the contents. A wonderful beginning reader that may look a little intimidating but will sit just right. Screaming WAIT! is my favorite, much as it is in I Am Invited to a Party! (Elephant and Piggie). Funny text, delightful illustrations that you expect from Selznick, and a super snuggly ending. An unexpected key, index, and bibliography for curious readers.

A must have for public and school libraries. Perfect for a kid
Edward Sullivan
Superb illustrations but weak on the storytelling.
Feb 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, children-s, humor, 2018
This is delightful and cute! And educational, but sneakily so.

It's a Baby! It's a Monkey! It'a Baby Monkey Private Eye! He solves crimes (maybe with his ESP??), eats snacks, and puts on pants. He has a routine and he never deviates - that's how he came to be a crack detective!

He's also an art connoisseur, as he regularly refreshes his decor with culturally relevant posters, busts, and oil paintings (with a bibliography at the end. I die)

Lovely work for early readers with his signature art styl
Mar 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
what a fun beginning reader book with the beautiful illustrations of Brian Selznick!
Lisa Newman
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Brian Selznick is one of my favorite authors.
His new book about Baby Monkey doesn't disappoint.
Abound with his gorgeous illustrations, readers of any age will enjoy this one.
Karin Schott
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a deceptive little book for very early readers. Follow the case files of Baby Monkey as puts an end to the crime wave that has struck. As with any Selznick book the pictures are part of the narrative. This is an important feature of this books, as it asks the early reader to stay with page a little longer, enforcing early literacy skills, with or without your pants.

addendum: I read this at work, laughed, aww-ed, just a bit, and then wrote the review and then....I saw the index!!! And the
This book fills a gap that so many of my students need. It has simple, repetitive text that empowers beginning readers to read this book successfully while still telling a very amusing story through detailed and hilarious images. Though each mystery Baby Monkey solves unfolds in the same way, the details in the pictures change enough to create excitement and anticipation. The combination of large text and full-page white space is on-point for these readers. And the ending changes it up in such a ...more
It's hard to find a place for this book. It's an interesting format that has picture book qualities, but is broken up into chapters like juvenile fiction. BUT defining the book is neither here nor there, what is important is reading the book.

I cannot even begin to tell you how much I loved this book. I got the goofiest grin reading this book. The number of ways Baby Monkey can put his pants on wrong is impressive and hilarious. The number of ways Selznick changes up the office each time a new ch
Jordan Henrichs
Jun 17, 2018 rated it liked it
My own children redeemed this book for me because my initial gut-reaction was one of confusion. I didn't understand the hype. Although I will say, I have never been wowed by Selznick the storyteller. Selznick the artist is undoubtedly a talent, but his stories have always underwhelmed me. After sitting my own children down and reading this with them, I realized that it works very, very well for the intended audience. But I think that intended audience may be smaller than people think. My 8-year- ...more
I had mixed feelings about this book. On the negative side, I got irritated by the whole repetitive pants episodes. I realize kids likely would disagree, but there you are. I realize they are a clear, funny challenge, but really, more than 3 times was too many for the joke. Also, the baby is a monkey, pretty bright. How come he hasn't used his brains to figure out the pants business? In terms of mysteries, I found them illogical. There was no indication as to why the answer led to the various cu ...more
Scott Robins
Interesting to see Selznick's unique style of storytelling in book for younger readers. Simple, repetitive text and adorable illustrations make this a great book for beginning readers but a lot of the concepts and the appeal make it fine for older readers as well. Be sure to check out the back matter. As always, Selznick peppers the narrative/illustrations with cultural references. This book will provide a bit of a conundrum for collection development professionals - where does one put this? I'v ...more
Oct 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
The simple, repetitive language is perfect for kids who are just starting to read on their own. As with any Selznick book, though, at least half of the story unfolds in the illustrations. At the start of each of Baby Monkey's investigations, the decorations in his office change to feature people, things, and events related to the missing item. The index in the back can be used to create a game of seek-and-find within the illustrations and, paired with the bibliography, provides a great starting ...more
Julie Kirchner
Dec 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this ARC through a Goodreads giveaway.

I like that the text is simple and repetitive. It could be enjoyed by any age reader.

What I LOVE about the book are the illustrations, particularly how in each chapter the detective office decorations change and are connected to the mystery. A curious reader will recognize and enjoy these details. I liked that Selznick and Serlin included a list of things to notice at the end of the book.

I will share with a younger student who is lovin
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A monkey and his mom 1 1 Sep 06, 2020 11:00PM  
Children's Books: looking for some expert opinion is it a picture book or a graphic novel? 9 26 Mar 25, 2018 01:52PM  

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Hello there. My name is Brian Selznick and I’m the author and illustrator of The Invention of Hugo Cabret. I was born in 1966 in New Jersey. I have a sister who is a teacher, a brother who is a brain surgeon, and five nephews and one niece. I studied at The Rhode Island School of Design and after I graduated from college I worked at Eeyore’s Books for Children in New York City. I learned all about ...more

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