The Laceville Monkeys: Say the Right Words by Harriett Ruderman
Illustrated by Beverly Luria
Publisher: Illusion Press
Date of publish: March 1, 2009
About the book: Thirty years ago author Harriett Ruderman entered into the fairytale world of Laceyville. As she listened to her mother tell her daughter the stories that would later inspire her to write the first in a series of books for children based on Grandma Ethel's stories.
It all began at bedtime; Grandma Ethel was telling one of her stories about an imaginary town filled with memorable characters and three very special monkeys who possessed amazing talents. Their names were Eva, Keva and Sheva and the town was called Laceyville. Over time, the Laceyville characters grew in numbers and the stories just kept coming. The story came from Grandma Ethel's creative spirit and Harriett's daughter's anticipation and requests for more.
The Laceyville Monkeys: Say the Right Words teaches children the importance of warm words to others, and also tells a fun story about three talented monkeys. The Laceyville Monkeys stars Eva the ballerina, Sheva the singer and Keva the gymnast. Their owner, Miss Hepzibah Mott, brings her beloved monkeys to Laceyville for the big talent contest.
Readers will meet George the Gorilla, who plays the piano, Jake the Snake who charms all with his Cobra Dance, and silly old Granny Scott, who 'says the wrong words,' and is utterly embarrassed at the results. These characters, and others, are part of the Laceyville cast, created to entertain and amuse children with their antics and fun while emphasizing the importance of warm, caring words of encouragement and love.
This was a very cute story with nice colorful illustrations and although it gives a great moral lesson about speaking nicely to others, it does it in a very gentle way. It would be a great read-aloud book for story time leading into discussion about the lesson it gives.
Thanks to Rachel Rausch at Newman Communications for sending me the book to review.