When a small round hairy object falls from a tree landing in front of Elephant, it sets off a concatenation of disappointment in the hungry animals by or on which it lands. This is accompanied by increasingly distraught cries of ‘Hey, hang on a second!’ from Mother Monkey as each successive animal sends the ‘coconut’ flying once again. Said object is subjected to nothing worse than the ups and downs of a live adventure playground until it drops onto the river bank just in front of Alligator. He is delighted to discover that the object in front of him most certainly is not a coconut. It’s fortunate then, that Mother Monkey has been following the path of the projectile at each and every toss.
Tension builds in this cleverly paced story as what seems the inevitable demise of the baby monkey comes ever closer. Katharine McEwen’s decoratively stylized, textured illustration is full of tension and humour. The suspicions of observant young readers as to the true identity of the UFO are gradually confirmed by the subtle changes in its appearance, provoking knowing interjections, in addition to the audience participation invited by the repetition built into the story.