Title: Monkey with a Tool Belt
Author and Illustrator: Chris Monroe
Publisher: Carolrhoda Books
Flesch-Kinkaid Grade Level: 3.0
Concepts: capital resources, services
Review: Chico Bon Bon, a highly-skilled monkey who enjoys building and fixing things, wears one of the most well-equipped tool belts imaginable. His tool belt not only holds such standard items as a screwdriver, planer, monkey wrench, and hammer, but it also holds some rather unusual gadgets with functions we can only guess: a zoozle, snozzer, donkey wrench, banana hammer, and so much more. Chico Bon Bon uses them all to construct new projects and repair things for his friends and family. His talents are put to the ultimate test when he is captured by a nasty organ-grinder from the circus who needs a new monkey. How will Chico Bon Bon fix his way out of this predicament?
This amusing book offers teachers and parents an opportunity to slip a short economics lesson into the mix, since Chico Bon Bon uses his tools (capital resources) to fix things (a service) for people in the community. Kids are bound to enjoy the cartoon-like illustrations of a clever monkey who means well, gets into trouble, and uses his trusty toolkit to find a way out.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children