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Five Little Monkeys Sitting in a Tree (1991)

by Eileen Christelow

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1,982318,273 (3.54)1
Five little monkeys sitting in a tree discover, one by one, that it is unwise to tease Mr. Crocodile.
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Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
Eileen Christelow adapts the traditional children's rhyme and sidesteps the gruesome tally of deaths by alligator implicit in the original but still manages to cruelly torture the monkeys' mother in the process. I can see kids having fun figuring out how the trick works and spotting monkeys hidden throughout the book, but again I just feel so bad for the mother who is made the butt of the joke.

Also, in recent years, there has been some pushback against this particular nursery rhyme due to its racist origins and ties to a practice called alligator baiting. There is some debate over whether Black children were actually used by white hunters as bait to draw alligators out of the swamp, but there is no doubting that it became a racist trope played for laughs in media like postcards and songs. For more details on this topic, check out these links:
https://www.snopes.com/news/2017/06/09/black-children-alligator-bait/
https://abagond.wordpress.com/2010/08/11/alligator-bait/ ( )
  villemezbrown | Jun 8, 2023 |
Alligator snaps at monkeys and with each snap a monkey disappears. They all come back at the end.
  BLTSbraille | Aug 5, 2022 |
While their mother takes a nap, five mischievous monkeys discover that it is unwise to tease Mr. Crocodile.
  wichitafriendsschool | Jun 26, 2018 |
Christelow made a wonderful stylistic choice as an author when she wrote the catchy phrase, "Five little monkeys sitting in a tree, tease Mr. Crocodile, 'Can't catch me!' Along comes Mr. Crocodile..." I loved this and I think kids would to and would enjoy saying it along with me. Once again, Christelow used repetition in this book which I enjoyed. ( )
  cedauzat | Mar 10, 2017 |
This book is about five monkeys who tease a crocodile, disappear one-by-one, and end up hidden in the tree. It not only teaches counting, but the importance of being nice; in addition to this, I loved the detailed illustrations. For these reasons, I would include it in my classroom, and read it to grades PreK-1st during math! ( )
  megfeyer | Feb 18, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
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For a new batch of little monkeys – Gregory, Sebastian, Nicole, Julia, and Olivia.
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Five little monkeys and their mama walk down to the river for a picnic supper.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Five little monkeys sitting in a tree discover, one by one, that it is unwise to tease Mr. Crocodile.

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