The Farmer and the Monkey (The Farmer Books) (Hardcover)
After his new friend the baby clown returned home to the circus train, the farmer expected to resume his quiet and solitary life. Little does he know a playful circus monkey has followed him home! At first, the farmer isn’t sure what to make of his excitable houseguest’s wild sense of fun, but he soon learns that sometimes an unexpected visit can lead to a wonderful new friendship.
Sweet, funny, and full of emotion, this wordless second book in Marla Frazee’s stunning trilogy is sure to become a classic favorite for young readers.
Marla Frazee is a Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Picture Book and two-time Caldecott Honor winner. She is the author-illustrator of many books, including The Boss Baby, the book that inspired the DreamWorks Animation film Boss Baby. She has illustrated many acclaimed picture books, including All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon, Stars by Mary Lyn Ray, Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers, and her own A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever. She is also the illustrator of the New York Times bestselling Clementine chapter books by Sara Pennypacker. The mother of three grown sons, she lives in Pasadena, California. Visit her at MarlaFrazee.com.
— Publishers Weekly
Frazee’s soft colors, careful lines, and masterful compositions work their magic once again to evoke mood and feeling in a way that children can immediately grasp. The experience hits adult readers just as powerfully.
— Kirkus Reviews
The sequel to Frazee's The Farmer and the Clown (rev. 11/14; winner of the 2015 Boston Globe Horn Book Award for Picture Book) begins where the first book left off, with a circus monkey sneaking home behind the farmer, who is despondent that his little clown friend has just left. The monkey stays out of sight, peeking around corners and peering through the farmer's window. It watches as the farmer sits slumped across from a chair empty but for the clown's pointed red hat. When the farmer notices the monkey, and invites it in, the vivacious creature tears around the farmhouse, carelessly crushing the treasured hat. The farmer, horrified, banishes the little monkey outside for the night. And now the mood, and the viewer's loyalties, shift. We are sad for the farmer, whose momento has been mangled, but now equally sad for the irrepressible monkey, who becomes buried in an overnight snowstorm. With impeccable pacing, and completely wordlessly, Frazee conducts her drama. It takes several pages, and many small moments, for the farmer and the monkey to appreciate each other, but at the book's end whem, inevitably, the monkey rejoins the circus train, the creature carries with it a drum, handmade by the farmer, and leaves behind a circus ticket. Frazee conveys the complexities of relationships through use of posture and facial expression. The layers of pencil and gouache have a depth and texture that makes the empty space around the lonely farmer's cabin feels full of possibility. Happily, the farmer, with the monkey's help, has found some (quieter)company on his farm, and the final page shows him comfortably leaning against his cow, playing banjo to a cozy group of hens, circus ticket tucked carefully into his hatband. MAEVE VISSER KNOTH
— Horn Book Magazine