Meet the Howlers!
Sayre's (Trout Are Made of Trees ) latest is a rhyming introduction to the howler monkeys of Central and South America. Verses appear in a jaunty typeface atop newcomer Miller's full-bleed spreads; prose paragraphs in smaller type provide additional information. The rhymes often suggests that the howlers' lives are more carefree than those of readers (“Sister claims a branch,/ yet no one says to share./ She never has to bathe./ Her suit is wash-and-wear!”). A recurring chorus reproduces the howlers' cry (“Woo-hoo-hoo! AH-UH-OH!”); the repetition doesn't add much to the story, but offers a chance to howl along. And readers will take great pleasure in the “special message” howlers send to intruders, human or otherwise: “They often urinate close to or on the invader to mark their territories.” The surfaces of Miller's mixed-media drawings are fuzzy and heavily worked, the rain forest–green palette offset by cloudy pastel skies. They're energetic, too; the howlers leap from branch to branch, scaring nearby birds and tearing leaves off trees for a snack. A solid read-aloud for young animal enthusiasts. Ages 4–7. (Feb.)