Baby Monkey, Private Eye

Baby Monkey, Private Eye
Written by Brian Selznick and David Serlin, Illustrated by Brian Selznick

Publisher’s Summary:
Baby Monkey, Private Eye will investigate stolen jewels, missing pizzas, and other mysteries–if he can manage to figure out how to put his pants on.

Primary Source Pairing:
In this visual, textual scavenger hunt, look for clues in Baby Monkey’s office about what mystery he will solve next. In the two-page spreads before the visitor comes to the office, you can see Baby Monkey reading a book with a clue about the next mystery. For example, on pages 22-23, Baby Monkey is reading a book called Famous Jewel Crimes before the opera singer comes in to declare “Someone has stolen my jewels!” For this primary source pairing, use the two-page spreads of Baby Monkey’s office to visually search for clues and predict what the next mystery will be. Use pages 188-189 in the book to find possible primary source pairings to extend student learning.

Included above is a circus poster from P.T. Barnum’s Greatest Show on Earth showing The Champion Leaper jumping through a hoop over an elephant. This primary source from 1879 can be used with the Case of the Missing Nose, pages 91-121. Invite students to study the primary source and connect what they see visually in the circus poster to the clues in Baby Monkey’s office on pages 92-93.

Questions for Discussion:

  • Describe what you see.
  • What do you notice first?
  • What people and objects are shown?
  • What words can you read?
  • What’s happening in the image?
  • Make a connection with what you see in the image to something you see in Baby Monkey’s office during the Case of the Missing Nose.

Credits:
P.T. Barnum’s Greatest Show on Earth image: Library of Congress
Book Cover and Summary: Follett