Synopses & Reviews
In his childrenand#8217;s book debut, fine artist Alex Beard brings to life an African savanna filled with humor and misunderstandings.
When Bird mixes up something Turtle says, he accidentally starts a rumor about the watering hole drying up. One misunderstanding leads to another, with animals making their own hilarious assumptions.
No one is hearing anything right, and soon the animals are in an uproar from one end of the jungle to the other. Elephant is trumpeting, Croc is snapping, and the Flamingos are fleeing! Beardand#8217;s story will have every child wondering if peace can ever be restored in the animal kingdom.
Alex Beard has two galleries, one in New Orleans and the other in New York City. Along with his paintings and prints, he has created a line of puzzles that was launched through national accounts in fall 2008 and spring 2009. Puzzles based on The Jungle Grapevine will be launched in conjunction with this book in fall 2009.
"Beard uses a group of enthusiastic, spindly blue monkeys who live in a baobab tree in Africa to challenge readers to rethink art and creativity. These lithe, game-loving animals seem to swirl across the pages in stylized pen-and-ink and watercolor pictures that are both comedic and beautiful (the style is in keeping with Beard's The Jungle Grapevine), and the action spills over into the spreads' borders. When the baobab nut they are playing with rolls into a cave, Elephant leads the monkeys inside, where they discover walls decorated with paintings of animals, based on human handprints or footprints. Elephant imprints his muddy hoof on the wall and turns it into a picture of a monkey, delighting his friends with a new game (the monkeys' pointy handprints become the long legs of a giraffe and the jaw of a crocodile, among other creatures). Beard, meanwhile, demonstrates that this 'game' isn't just for children — in several scenes, his monkeys' bodies consist of a human thumbprint. As the monkeys squabble about whose drawing is best, Elephant encourages them to 'paint and draw just for fun.' Kids will follow suit. Ages 4 8. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
The monkeys that live at the foot of the Mbuno Hills in Africa love to play games. One day while playing Elephant in the Middle with their large friend, their ball, a nut from an ancient baobab tree, rolls into a cave where the troop of monkeys never go. It is dark inside and possibly filled with horrible beasts! When they venture in, they discover instead that the walls are covered with paintings of animals. Elephant shows the monkeys how they too can create artwork using their hands and feet as “stamps” and mud as their medium. But things are never quite as easy as they seem.
Artist Alex Beard brings his love of exploration and painting to life with his signature animals in this charming tale about creativity and overcoming fears.
Artist Beard brings his love of exploration and painting to life with his signature animals in this charming tale about creativity and overcoming fears. Full color.
About the Author
Alex Beard is a painter whose work has been shown in New Orleans, Los Angeles, New York, and Hong Kong, among other cities. His extensive travels through Africa inspired this book.