The most recommended monkey books

Who picked these books? Meet our 15 experts.

15 authors created a book list connected to monkey, and here are their favorite monkey books.
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What type of monkey book?


Oliver and the Seawigs

By Philip Reeve, Sarah McIntyre (illustrator),

Book cover of Oliver and the Seawigs

Carole McDonnell Author Of The Constant Tower

From the list on unplanned or obsessively-planned journeys.

Who am I?

I'm a wife, mother, writer—and the mother of a disabled non-verbal thirty-three-year-old man. I'm also Black and a Christian, both of which can be problematic to many readers. I write fantasy and mainstream stories, Christian and non-Christian. Some fantasy readers have certain fears, stereotypes, and expectations of fantasy books written by minorities. Others have those same fears, stereotypes, and expectations of books written by Christian writers. I'm very good at accommodating my readers. For the most part, my readers never feel as if they’re being preached at or lectured. Some aren’t even aware that I'm Black or a Christian, even though my concernsimperialism, injustice, spirituality, ethnicity, disability, and feminismare throughout my stories.

Carole's book list on unplanned or obsessively-planned journeys

Why did Carole love this book?

This book had me cracking up. I would recommend this book for kids aged seven to ten but I also think adults would love reading it. Oliver is the child of adventurers who now want to settle down. Well, the itch to adventure is still pretty powerful. So, of course, off they go again. Oliver has to find them so he too goes off to search for them. On his journey, he meets some other creatures, including a mermaid, an albatross, a depressed island, and some very obnoxious weeds. I’m being super non-spoilery and vague here because I want you to happen upon the silly puns and wordplay by yourself. I will also resist the urge to tell you what sea wigs are. 

What I like about this story is that Oliver is a normal kid. His sense of adventure came about second-hand, and he had no great urge to go…

By Philip Reeve, Sarah McIntyre (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Oliver and the Seawigs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A lively, gorgeously illustrated story from Dynamic Duo, Reeve and McIntyre! Along with his new friends, a grumpy old albatross, a short-sighted mermaid, and a friendly island called Cliff, Oliver goes off in search of his missing parents. But before he can put his rescue plan into action there's the evil Stacey de Lacey and an army of greasy, green sea monkeys to contend with . . .

Grumpy Monkey

By Suzanne Lang, Max Lang (illustrator),

Book cover of Grumpy Monkey

Jessica Sinarski Author Of Hello, Anger

From the list on children’s stories about anger.

Who am I?

I have always been a peacemaker, so anger can be a really uncomfortable emotion for me. I think that’s true of lots of people! As a mom and mental health counselor, it was important to me to write a book that honored the protective nature of anger. Feelings give us important information. Putting this book together felt like a big puzzle to solve, and I’m so happy with how it turned out. Bright and engaging illustrations, relatable characters, and tips for grown-ups in the back to help us all say hello to our anger and whatever might be hiding underneath! 

Jessica's book list on children’s stories about anger

Why did Jessica love this book?

What a delightful book on every level. Brilliant illustrations, relatable story, and it encourages sweet relationships even through difficult emotions. It’s great for 4-7-year-old children, playfully showing that even the best advice about helping people with big feelings doesn’t always meet the need…at least not as much as a little connection with someone who “gets it.” 

By Suzanne Lang, Max Lang (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Grumpy Monkey as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A hilarious and reassuring New York Times Number 1 bestseller about feeling your emotions - sometimes it's okay not to feel okay!

Meet Jim Panzee.

He's in a BAD mood.
Nothing feels right!
Nothing will do, and Jim just doesn't know why...

His friends give him tips and suggest things that make THEM feel happy, however poor old Jim gets overwhelmed and snaps . . .

Could it be that he just needs a day to feel grumpy?

This modern classic is the perfect reminder that 'grumpy monkey' days never last for ever.

Fourteen Monkeys

By Melissa Stewart, Steve Jenkins (illustrator),

Book cover of Fourteen Monkeys: A Rain Forest Rhyme

Janet Lawler Author Of Walrus Song

From the list on interesting animals.

Who am I?

I am an award-winning children’s author who has always been fascinated by the natural world. My many published children’s books include ones about animals and ocean life. Scholastic Book Clubs and the Children’s Book of the Month Club have featured my work, and translations of my fiction and nonfiction titles can be found in several languages, including Spanish, Japanese, and Hebrew. My National Geographic title Ocean Counting was named an Outstanding Science Trade Book by the National Science Teachers Association and Walrus Song has been named a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection.

Janet's book list on interesting animals

Why did Janet love this book?

I love how master children’s nonfiction author Melissa Stewart instantly engages readers with two rhyming lines introducing each of fourteen rain forest monkeys. Each spread, beautifully illustrated by Steve Jenkins, includes additional facts and a clever rain forest silhouette keyed to show where each species dwells (there’s room for all!). Well-organized, kid-friendly back matter offers many more facts and resources about pygmy marmosets, capuchins, howler monkeys, spider monkeys, and more from Peru’s Manú National Park. They are all different, but all can live together — a great lesson from the rainforest!

By Melissa Stewart, Steve Jenkins (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fourteen Monkeys as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Travel to a tropical rainforest where fourteen species of monkeys live in harmony in this playful, fact-filled book from award-winning author Melissa Stewart and Caldecott honoree Steve Jenkins.

In Manú National Park in Peru, an amazing fourteen different species of monkeys live together. That’s more than in any other rainforest in the world! How can they coexist so well? Find out in this lyrical, rhyming picture book that explores each monkey’s habits, diet, and home, illustrating how this delicate ecosystem and its creatures live together in harmony. From howler monkeys to spider monkeys to night monkeys, young readers will love…

Caps for Sale

By Esphyr Slobodkina,

Book cover of Caps for Sale

Scott Menchin Author Of Wiggle

From the list on for funny and artistic young children.

Who am I?

As a curious Pratt Institute art school professor and loving parent of a daughter who has also written and/or illustrated sixteen children’s books I want to share my favorite books with other children’s book connoisseurs. It also helps that I have lots of opinions. Too many to count. And when someone actually wants to listen to my opinions I get very excited. I’m hoping one of my favorites becomes one of your favorites. 

Scott's book list on for funny and artistic young children

Why did Scott love this book?

A ridiculous, hysterical old tale of a hat salesman who loses his hats to a bunch of monkeys and has to find a way to get them back.

I use to imitate the salesman and the monkeys while reading this book to my young daughter with a heavy Italian accent. I had more fun reading it out loud than any other book I’ve read. 

By Esphyr Slobodkina,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Caps for Sale as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Caps for Sale is a timeless classic beloved by of the most popular picture books ever published! Children will delight in following the peddler's efforts to outwit the monkeys and will ask to read it again and again. Caps for Sale is an excellent easy-to-read book that includes repetition, patterns, and colors, perfect for early readers. This tale of a peddler and a band of mischievous monkeys is filled with warmth, humor, and simplicity and also teaches children about problem and resolution.

Curious George

By H. A. Rey,

Book cover of Curious George

Jack Payton Author Of Billy Balloon

From the list on children’s stories you wish you had written.

Who am I?

I wrote Billy Balloon in fourth grade for a writing exercise. I remember the teacher reading it to the whole class. I was filled with pride. Then through the years I’d revisit the story and think about getting it published. Many years later, with the support and encouragement from my family, I finally decided to go through with it. We then went from wanting to publish one book to building a brand similar to Curious George and Thomas the Train. We had such a great experience and fun time we also decided to share the adventure with others. We invite readers to submit ideas for other books in the Billy Balloon series through our website

Jack's book list on children’s stories you wish you had written

Why did Jack love this book?

The fun thing about George was reading all the different books with my kids, and discovering what he was up to next.

He is curious about everything around him, and isn’t always able to express himself. Very much like little kids. George’s childlike innocence and sense of adventure is contagious.

I was also in awe of the author's productivity. There were so many different stories! It was an inspiration to my book series, to invite readers to help co-author additional books.

By H. A. Rey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Curious George as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Curious little ones will love to cuddle up at bedtime with this padded story collection with sturdy pages. The perfect ending to a long day of play!

Includes six stories:
Curious George: Are You Curious
Curious George and the Firefighters
Curious George's Day at the Farm
Curious George Goes to a Bookstore
Curious George Loves to Ride
Good Night, Curious George

Florida Woman

By Deb Rogers,

Book cover of Florida Woman

Ginger Pinholster Author Of Snakes of St. Augustine

From the list on featuring Florida in a big way.

Who am I?

My second novel, Snakes of St. Augustine, describes an unconventional love story served up with a large side of Florida weirdness. My first novel, City in a Forest, received a Gold Royal Palm Literary Award from the Florida Writers Association in 2020. My short fiction and essays have appeared in Pangyrus, Eckerd Review, Northern Virginia Review, Atticus Review, and elsewhere. I earned my bachelor’s degree in English from Eckerd College and the M.F.A. in Fiction from Queens University of Charlotte. Currently, I’m a writer for a university in Daytona Beach, Florida. A resident of Ponce Inlet, I began volunteering with the Volusia-Flagler Sea Turtle Patrol in 2018.

Ginger's book list on featuring Florida in a big way

Why did Ginger love this book?

Deb Rogers turns the classic “Florida Woman” meme on its head through her protagonist Jamie, a lost and desperate soul who winds up working at the bizarre Atlas Wildlife Refuge for macaques.

Three women in charge of the sanctuary soon seem to be creepy; they perform strange rituals and caution Jamie to avoid the medical lab. The novel’s setting, at the edge of the Ocala National Forest, immerses the reader in a tactile way into Jamie’s dark and ominous world. The plot races along at a fast clip and it avoids predictable twists, offering a fresh take on the story of a Florida woman whose mistake turned her into a viral punchline.

Readers will be rooting for Jamie to transform into a more empowered young woman. Think Carl Hiaasen meets Karen Russell.

By Deb Rogers,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Florida Woman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Razor-sharp... Deb Rogers writes with such verve and honesty about all the ways we stumble through life, and, like all great storytellers, gives us something wondrous when we reach the end of the journey.”—Kevin Wilson, bestselling author of Nothing to See Here

An Indie Next Selection • A Fantastic Strangelings Book Club Pick • Recommended by: Harper's Bazaar • Shondaland • New York Post • Goodreads • Lambda Literary • Book Riot • Reader’s Digest • LGBTQReads • Medium • Debutiful • She Reads • Autostraddle •and more!

A gleefully dark and entertaining debut for fans of Kevin Wilson and…

Quit Monks or Die!

By Maxine Kumin,

Book cover of Quit Monks or Die!

Corey Mesler Author Of Memphis Movie

From the list on by poets.

Who am I?

Corey Mesler has been published in numerous anthologies and journals including Poetry, Gargoyle, Five Points, Good Poems American Places, and New Stories from the South. He has published over 25 books of fiction and poetry. His newest novel, The Diminishment of Charlie Cain, is from Livingston Press. He also wrote the screenplay for We Go On, which won The Memphis Film Prize in 2017. With his wife he runs Burke’s Book Store (est. 1875) in Memphis. I have a fondness for novels written by writers who are primarily poets. These five books are my favorites in that contracted genre.

Corey's book list on by poets

Why did Corey love this book?

Quit Monks or Die! is something else indeed. It’s a mystery novel and a good one. It is set, yes! in academia, where a scientist and a graduate assistant are both found murdered. The scientist was working on an experiment involving monkeys. Does that have to do with why he was killed? Its cracker-jack plot, which involves animal rights, is complex but lucidly and expertly laid out. It's not just who done it, but what was done? This is not Kumin’s only novel but I believe it’s her only mystery.

By Maxine Kumin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Quit Monks or Die! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Set in a small town that houses little more than a research lab and an engineering school, the body of the lab's director is found in a pit used for maternal deprivation experiments with monkeys. A few days later, a graduate student is found murdered as well. Are these deaths connected? And who's responsible for these murders? Written by one of America's greatest poets, this mystery is a scathing social commentary with a criminal twist.

Maxine Kumin is the author of poetry, novels, short stories, essays and a number of children's books. She has received several awards, including the Pulitzer…


By Chris Haughton,

Book cover of Maybe...

Nikki Dudley Author Of Volta

From Nikki's 5-year-old's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Reader Thinker Collaborator Socialiser

Nikki's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Plus, Nikki's 5, and 7-year-old's favorite books.

Why did Nikki's 5-year-old love this book?

My five-year-old especially loves this one. It focuses on some cheeky monkeys and the trouble they can get into. They love spotting the danger and watching the monkeys get into trouble despite knowing they shouldn't do what they do! Sometimes, they act it out - it's controlled chaos!

By Chris Haughton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Maybe... as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From Chris Haughton comes a funny, suspenseful and keenly observed cautionary tale about pushing boundaries and indulging your more mischievous, cheeky side (when nobody is looking).

Three little monkeys, and their big monkey, are sitting high up on their branch in the forest canopy. "OK, monkeys! I'm off," says the big monkey. "Now remember. Whatever you do, do NOT go down to the mango tree. There are tigers down there." Mmm ... mangos! think the little monkeys. They LOVE mangos. Hmm ... maybe ... maybe they could just look at the mangos? That'd be OK, right?

Little Monkey Calms Down

By Michael Dahl, Oriol Vidal (illustrator),

Book cover of Little Monkey Calms Down

Kim T.S. Author Of Feeling All My Feelings Book

From the list on kids with big feelings.

Who am I?

I’m just a normal parent who has gone through the ups and downs of helping her little boy with his exceptionally big feelings. Anger is the main emotion we continue to struggle with, but we’ve come such a long way! The smallest things used to set him off, and he could go from annoyance to rage in minutes. Sometimes it would take us up to an hour to completely calm down. I tried my best to stay patient, help him work through his feelings, and redirect his anger towards non-harmful modes of expression. When he was calm, then we would talk about what happened, and think of ways we can both do better next time.

Kim's book list on kids with big feelings

Why did Kim love this book?

If you have a toddler, I’m sure that tantrums are a normal part of your life! This book is great for kids up to 3 years old, and helped my son calm down at that age. The words and illustrations are bright and bold, yet simple enough for little kids to relate to. It’s a short book and the simplicity makes it effective. My son saw himself as the little monkey! When I could sense a tantrum brewing, I’d take out the book and read it with him. For a time, he would ask me to read the book with him whenever he felt upset. 

By Michael Dahl, Oriol Vidal (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Little Monkey Calms Down as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Little Monkey is having a bad day. After a major melt down, he goes to his room and uses some coping techniques to calm down. He sings a a quiet song, cuddles with his blankie, and learns how take deep breaths. A relatable book for toddlers that teaches self soothing in an effective way. Little Monkey is having a bad day. After a major melt down, he goes to his room and uses some coping techniques to calm down.

Book cover of Curious George at the Parade

Andrea Denish Author Of Everyone Loves a Parade!*

From the list on children’s books featuring festive parades.

Who am I?

Parades are a truly happy place for people of all ages. The inspiration for Everyone Loves a Parade!* came from the 2018 Philadelphia Eagles Superbowl Championship Parade - a spectacle the entire city enjoyed, drawing people with Philadelphia roots from all over. The communal nature of putting together a parade that carries on traditions and gives people a reason to share a celebration drove my interest in writing this book. The beautiful illustrations by Guilherme Franco bring the pages to life and allow readers to enjoy the wonder of parades from their living room couch - (where it’s much less messy).

Andrea's book list on children’s books featuring festive parades

Why did Andrea love this book?

Curious George seems to find trouble wherever he goes, and a parade is a prime place to find trouble. There are plenty of laughs to be had as George wanders away from the Man in the Yellow Hat and gets carried away with curiosity.

By H.A. Rey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Curious George at the Parade as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When the man with the yellow hat takes George to see the city’s street parade, George is excited. There are floats, marching bands, and big animal balloons all waiting for the parade to start. But it isn’t long before the little monkey’s curiosity gets him into big trouble . . . Can George help make things right before the parade begins?


New activities include a connect-the-dots image and an instrument-matching activity.

Bunny vs Monkey

By Jamie Smart,

Book cover of Bunny vs Monkey: Multiverse Mix-up!

Steven A. McKay Author Of The Heathen Horde

From Steven's 9-year-old's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author History buff Storyteller Musician Metalhead

Steven's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Plus, Steven's 9, and 15-year-old's favorite books.

Why did Steven's 9-year-old love this book?

This book is about going to different dimensions and I thought it was really funny.

It looks like someone has drawn on the book with a pen or something, but that’s just how the book is made. It looks cool. I liked it when Monkey tried to destroy Bunny’s house.

By Jamie Smart,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bunny vs Monkey as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When portals to parallel dimensions open up, the gang meet different versions of themselves - a whole universe of Bunnies! Evil Pig! Baby Bunny vs Monkey!

The gang end up travelling to the very ends of existence . . . but will they make it back home to the Woods?

The Monkey's Paw

By W.W. Jacobs,

Book cover of The Monkey's Paw

A.M. Kherbash Author Of Lesath

From the list on creepy titles you may have overlooked.

Who am I?

I grew up reading dark fiction, and the only two books I kept from that period were The Wicked Heart and Whisper of Death, both by Christopher Pike. Though both were categorized as horror, the first is a crime mystery that partly follows the murderer, while the latter feels like an episode out of The Twilight Zone. I never cared for pure horror, and a book doesn’t have to scare me for me to find them enjoyable. What I often wanted was a tangible sense of dread paired with insight into the human psyche, which I believe makes for a more potent reading experience. 

A.M.'s book list on creepy titles you may have overlooked

Why did A.M. love this book?

The Monkeys Paw is one of those short stories we either read or heard someone tell us about it. And so it goes overlooked. If you havent read it, do yourself a favor and read it. If you have read it, do yourself a favor and revisit it. Its short, its available, its a horror classic, and its very likely what Stephen King had in mind when he wrote Pet Sematary

By W.W. Jacobs,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Monkey's Paw as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Outside, the night is cold and wet. Inside, the White family sits and waits. Where is their visitor? There is a knock at the door. A man is standing outside in the dark. Their visitor has arrived. The visitor waits. He has been in India for many years. What has he got? He has brought the hand of a small, dead animal - a monkey's paw. Outside, in the dark, the visitor smiles and waits for the door to open.

Little Monkey

By Marta Altes,

Book cover of Little Monkey

Yoeri Slegers Author Of Crocodile's Crossing: A Search for Home

From the list on travelling in different or strange circumstances.

Who am I?

I'm a Belgian illustrator and author of children's books. My mother works in a library so I was constantly in contact with books, especially children's books. Stories with beautiful pictures were always a big fascination of mine. Drawing keeps me looking for stories and stories keep me drawing. Everything is an inspiration: a funny moment, a good conversation, or just life. In my university, I renewed my passion for children's books thanks to my teacher Kris, also a children's book illustrator. In my final school years I got the chance to work with one of the best publishers in Belgium: De Eenhoorn (the unicorn) they gave me the chance to grow and...tell stories. 

Yoeri's book list on travelling in different or strange circumstances

Why did Yoeri love this book?

If you're small you have to prove yourself even more. I am 1.94m tall. My wife is 1.5. So I have first-hand experience. But like in real life, you don't need to prove anything. Being small or the smallest doesn't matter to the people who love you.

By Marta Altes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Little Monkey as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It's hard being a little monkey in a big troop, in an even bigger jungle - and this little monkey has had enough of always missing out! She's off to climb to the top of the tallest tree in the jungle and she's going to do it all on her own!

Except that there's someone following close behind. Someone with claws and stripes and rather sharp teeth . . .

Little Monkey is a beautiful, funny and empowering picture book from renowned author/illustrator, Marta Altes. Little Monkey shows us that the world is a big, wild and wonderful place where…

The Park in the Dark

By Martin Waddell, Barbara Firth (illustrator),

Book cover of The Park in the Dark

Caroline Pitcher Author Of The Winter Dragon

From the list on night-time, getting to sleep, and dragons.

Who am I?

Picture books are so important. They’re for everyone, not just young children, and often the readers are adult. Writing one is similar to writing a poem while watching the story in my imagination like a film. Usually I know the illustrator and can write to their strengths. Sophy Williams has drawn The Winter Dragon as an awesome creature who's also kind and protective. When I was seven, my teacher sent my stories to Enid Blyton who replied I must not be spoiled (shame!) and wouldn’t write once I was an adult. After making Dragons with children, I watched them bring their creature alive in their play. The Winter Dragon enlarges Rory’s imaginative world.

Caroline's book list on night-time, getting to sleep, and dragons

Why did Caroline love this book?

My children loved The Park in the Dark by Martin Waddell, believing it was set in a park near our house. Now our grandchildren enjoy it too, There might or might not be scary things in the darkness, but 'me, and Loopy and Little Gee' are heroes who look after each other, swing, slide, dance, jump and chase all over the place, until the thing comes! (It’s a train….) 

The three race back to bed Where we ought to be, me and Loopy and Little Gee, safe as can be, all three. The gentle rhyming text comes to a happy conclusion and Barbara Firth’s delightful illustrations show us it’s three soft toys, not children, sneaking out of the house in the middle of the night.

By Martin Waddell, Barbara Firth (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Park in the Dark as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A hugely endearing picture book from the makers of the Big Bear and Little Bear series. When the sun goes down and the moon comes up, the toy monkey and his friends, Loopy the elephant and Little Gee the dog, creep softly out of the bedroom, down the stairs and through the dark hall on their way to the deserted park. The park's an exciting place to be after dark, though a little bit scary - especially when the Thing (a night train) hurtles out of the darkness, seeming to chase them. Then the three friends run all the way…