This is Reeves’ debut picture book from a new publisher, Storyhouse Publishing. As an aside, I love the ethos of Storyhouse – inspiring care for each other and our world – and have ordered more of their books.
The story centres around Magnus, a monkey who loves to dance. Magnus gets a right sulk on when Betty the bear arrives and usurps his position as the best dancer.
I love the wordplay in this book and the fun, effective use of verbs. This is very much my preferred style of writing and phrases like ‘the stars began to wink and shimmer’ appeal to my word nerdery. It’s the kind of phrase I would write and then feel very pleased with myself for the rest of the day.
I also like the fact that Magnus’ sulkiness is pretty much classic child behaviour and a pickle they might easily find themselves in. We all like to be the best at something, after all.
I amuse myself by thinking of Magnus as a typical bloke who can’t handle it when a woman outshines him. Betty certainly is the more gracious and generous character in this tale.
The illustrations are bright and lively, capturing the shimmies and wiggles of the story perfectly.
Enjoyed by myself and my five-year-old alike, this is a lovely debut that you can buy here.
Robin’s verdict: “I like Magnus.”
Hazel’s verdict: “This has lex-appeal.”