Cover image for Joseph wants to read
Joseph wants to read
Teyssèdre, Fabienne.
Personal Author:
First American edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Dutton Children's Books, [2001]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 27 cm
With the help of his animal friends, Joseph the monkey learns the letters and how use them to spell words.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction A-B-C- 1-2-3 Books
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



It's school-vacation time, but Joseph, a little monkey, wants to learn to read. His teacher comes up with a way for him to practice during the break. Each of his animal friends-Antelope, Badger, Crocodile, etc.-wears his or her initial and says it whenever Joseph shows up to play. By the time school begins again, Joseph can recite his alphabet and even spell a word or two. Children who are just beginning to decode words will love learning along with Joseph. The charming animal characters, enjoying the pleasures of school vacation, make it easy and fun.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Amiable jungle animals play a name game in this disappointing book, which is compromised by its incomplete alphabet. At the School of the Tropics, amid stylized foliage and vines, a monkey named Joseph protests summer vacation: "I wanted to learn to read first," he says. His teacher, Ms. Giraffe, suggests that Joseph can practice reading if his friends wear letters corresponding with their names. She assigns a T to Toucan and an H to Hippo. Later, when Badger, Ox and Antelope get together, Joseph notices that their combination spells BOA, "and the band scampered away from the big snake" lurking behind blue palm trees. But the audience never gets a sense of Joseph's process of learning to read. Too few species populate Joseph's forest: Teyss?dre introduces a wealth of R's and E's (including Eagle, Egret and Elephant), but neglects common letters like N, P and W; Joseph, with his human name, doesn't learn the letter M for Monkey. While this French-to-English translation showcases Teyss?dre's cheerful gouaches of placid and friendly beasts, it falls short as a spelling or reading lesson. Ages 3-6. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-K-The school year is just about over and Joseph the monkey is disappointed because he hasn't learned to read. His teacher comes up with a way to help him continue to practice his letters over the summer. She gives each of his animal friends a different letter of the alphabet to wear (E to Elephant, Z to Zebra, etc.) and each time Joseph sees them, they are to remind him what letter they are. "We're the R's!" Rhinoceros and Raccoon tell him. The summer progresses, and his friends sing alphabet songs or combine their limited letters to make words. When it's time to return to the School of Tropics, it's clear that the little monkey has achieved his goal. While the book does highlight a real concern of many youngsters, the writing is somewhat stilted and does not flow easily. Simple cartoons outlined in black and featuring bright colors show all sorts of animals playing in the jungle, climbing trees, and having fun.-Karen Scott, Valley Intermediate School, Pelham, AL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.