Vincent is busy fixing his wagon one afternoon, when his mother asks him to go to the store and pick up a few items for teatime. So off he goes… but it’s a windy day, and the shopping list his mother wrote blows away! So Vincent tries hard to remember the items, but the road to the shop is long and filled with distractions, so his recollection gets a little muddy. That’s how he ends up with a box of mice, a trapeze, and of course, chimpanzees.
This book is pure amusement, a vivid romp through an imaginative world. Jo Empson’s art style, with its active lines, crazy squiggles, and splotchy watercolors, adds a sense of movement to Vincent’s quest and the wacky characters he brings home for tea. There are beautiful patterns and colors on nearly every page, and you’ll want to stop and savor the imagery.
In addition to the illustrations, the words are just fun to read. Vincent’s recitations of his shopping list change each time he tries to recall it, and the repetition makes it so that children can recite along with him, but there is also a new twist to the list each time. The rhythm of the words is musical, great for reading out loud to young children.
Chimpanzees for Tea is a kids’ book that is beautiful in its simplicity: it’s a silly story about the random things that kids’ imaginations dream up, aptly illustrated, and easy to understand. It will bring your kids giggles when they read it, and maybe you will find yourself laughing too.
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