The monkey narrator in this humorous picture book gaurantees that he can READ YOUR MIND. What begins as a simple request to imagine the most spectacular thing in history turns into the story of a roller-skating, bubble-blowing purple kangaroo searching for his dear friend Ernesto on the moon. So by the time you finish this book, there's no chance you will be thinking of anything BUT the purple kangaroo.
The author of Chicken Cheeks (2009) offers here an in-your-face, metafictive text reminiscent of the works of Mo Willems (Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, 2003) and Melanie Watt (Have I Got a Book for You!, 2009). A monkey, claiming to read minds, proceeds to describe a roller-skating, banana-juggling, hula-hooping, bubble-gum-nose-blowing purple kangaroo that ends up on the moon searching for his wild-eyed chinchilla friend. At the end, faced with the reality that the reader is not imagining said character, Monkey retorts, “You’re thinking of one now!!!” Peter Brown’s digitally tweaked acrylic-and-pencil artwork makes use of many comic-book techniques, including cartoon-styled figures, speech and thought bubbles, and iconic lines to convey information. One close-up, for example, depicts the monkey’s face, his pupils connected to spiraling purple lines representing an attempt to hypnotize the reader. While Black’s comedic style may not appeal to every adult reader, the sheer silliness of these characters and situations is sure to be a hit with its intended listeners. Preschool-Grade 2. --Kay Weisman