Cover image for The bird, the monkey, and the snake in the jungle
The bird, the monkey, and the snake in the jungle
Banks, Kate, 1960-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, [1999]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 31 cm
A bird, a monkey, and a snake lose their home in a tree and go looking for a new home, encountering various jungle animals on the way. Features rebuses, which are identified with labels in the margins of the pages.
General Note:
"Frances Foster books"

"A rebus book."
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Oversize
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



This is a story in words and pictures about a bird, a monkey, and a snake who have an adventure together. Along the way they meet a family of squirrels, a hungry alligator, an enormous spider, a fierce tiger, and a friendly frog--and they find a new home.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 5^-8. Rebus books can be entertaining, challenging, and useful for teaching reading, but when written with the delicacy of Banks, author of If the Moon Could Talk (1998), and illustrated with the warmth of Bogacki, such a book can transcend gimmickry to become something really special. Three dissimilar creatures inhabit a tree in the jungle: "At the top of the (tree) lived a (bird); In the middle of the (tree) lived a (monkey); At the bottom of the (tree) lived a (snake). This (tree) was their (home)." As each creature goes about its daily life, it annoys the others by singing noisily, tossing nutshells, or dancing around the tree. But when the tree falls down after too much rain and there's danger to face while looking for a new place to live, the animals gradually discover how connected they are. The graceful story is conveyed with very few words: tiny rebus pictures replace some of the text, and there's some word repetition to help young readers and pre-readers. The rebus pictures are decoded in the side panels, with the word written clearly underneath the picture. Bogacki's paintings never overwhelm the gentle text. They are charming and simple even as they hint at the lushness of the jungle. Each of the animals is painted with a certain innocence, and Bogacki's visible brush strokes give the pictures a plush texture. A splendid collaboration between artist and writer, with the added fun of a puzzle. --Susan Dove Lempke

Publisher's Weekly Review

Delicate, dense color and a mannered geometric layout politely call for attention in this rebus picture book by Banks (And If the Moon Could Talk) and Bogacki (Cat and Mouse). Small squares, like softly drawn computer icons, neatly contain symbols for the characters and objects in their environment. Mingled with the printed text and the full-bleed illustrations, these visual labels introduce a red-winged bird, autumn-brown monkey and gray-striped snake who share the same tree as their jungle home. Every morning, the bird sings, the monkey wakes to eat nuts and the snake complains when falling shells rain on his back. As a group, the three set out to find separate, private homes, but discover that the jungle's choicest branches are already occupied by the likes of squirrels and bats. Bogacki conceives of the wild setting as a grid of rectangles and curves, with mottled greens and dappled blues suggesting gentle sunlight filtered through a rain-forest canopy. Banks provides plenty of nouns (sun, bananas, leaves, etc.) to be included in the rebus. There's no flipping pages back and forth to read a master key; instead, at the top right of each spread, a helpful mini-key presents the pages' discrete symbols and what they represent. The text is laid out inventivelyÄvertically, diagonally, etc.Äbut always clearly. This strategically structured volume, more puzzle than plot, makes an aesthetically pleasing introductory study in grammar, jungle life and cooperation. Ages 3-up. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-3-When a rainstorm destroys their home, a bird, a monkey, and a snake start off into the jungle in search of a new place to live. Tired of one another's annoying habits, each animal hopes to find a tree of its own. But the jungle is a dark and scary place, and after rescuing one another from spiders, crocodiles, and tigers, the three companions realize that they are better off sticking together. When they find a tree inhabited by a frog that is willing to share, they set up housekeeping, happily tolerating one another's idiosyncrasies. Told in rebus form, the story includes a key to the pictures on the outer margin of each right-hand page. Although children will undoubtedly enjoy playing the game, some aspects of the book may confuse them. A few of the illustrations don't look like what they are supposed to represent, e.g., the tree looks more like a leaf and the clouds look like rocks. In addition, the type is placed on the pages in a way that enhances the design but makes the order of the text difficult to follow. Still, the primitive-style illustrations, set on backgrounds of green and blue, have a Gauguin-like quality that captures the mystery and magic of the jungle. The story of friends who learn the value of sharing has been told many times but the rebus format puts a fresh spin on the tale.-Dawn Amsberry, formerly at Oakland Public Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.