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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
The Absurd Adventures of Monkey, Puppy, and Lion: The Day of the Closed Door Conspiracy is an action and adventure tale for children written by Nick Stockton. In his About the Series section of the book, Stockton reveals the genesis of his continued tales about the three unlikely friends and their adventures. Each evening, he would create a bedtime story for his own children. He begins this particular tale with a warning for his readers not to try any of the stuff that Monkey, Puppy and Lion do in this or any of his other tales. His characters are not really real, you know, and you could get in a lot of trouble if you do what they do. Puppy’s day begins when his family gets up for work and school. Pete is the one who has to walk Puppy before school, but Puppy likes to snuggle with Lizzy, Pete’s sister, and she likes to get up even less than Pete does. Lizzy also doesn’t like Pete being in her room to get Puppy or disturbing her in those last few moments before she has to get up. Lizzie, however, has magical gifts, like lightning bolts, which blast out of her eyes and threaten to skewer her brother, which work to get Pete out of her room and quickly. Puppy will get walked, and Pete will survive the thunderstorm that is his sister, but even before the family leaves for work and school, Puppy has his hands full with his two mischievous friends, Monkey and Lion.
How much trouble can a monkey, a puppy and a lion get into when the humans aren’t home? Judging from this episode of the Absurd Adventures of Monkey, Puppy and Lion, the answer is quite a lot. This is the first book in Stockton’s series that I’ve had the occasion to read, and I loved every minute I spent reading it. One thing I have to mention right up front; unlike picture books, this story is meant to be read aloud to children. There are no illustrations to speak of, and the format of the book is geared towards more accomplished readers. That said, both the reader and their audience will have a grand time following this endlessly inventive trio of animals as they wreak havoc while the humans are away, and wondering if Puppy can possibly get everything back to normal by the time his family comes home. The Absurd Adventures of Monkey, Puppy, and Lion: The Day of the Closed Door Conspiracy is the consummate bedtime story that’s guaranteed to produce giggles and smiles all around, and it’s most highly recommended.