The Adventures of Gracie & MonkeyBear

Book 1: Summer

Children - Picture Book
34 Pages
Reviewed on 01/26/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Born to a loving mother with little money, but an abundance of imagination she shared with C. S. during long walks, bike rides before helmets, and nightly readings from mountains of books. Stories of giants and elves, mythical beasts and powerful maidens filled the world of C. S. from the earliest of memories.

After finishing graduate school, C. S. O'Kelly sold off all five possessions, purchased a 1974 Ford 19 foot motorhome and went north. After ten years in SE Alaska, C. S. landed in warmer climes on a small ranch in Northern California where crafting stories and storyworlds seemed as natural as raising organic free range chickens for eggs only.

To this day, C. S. travels the world, but always comes back to the small ranch with a home built with C. S.'s own hands near San Francisco, California.

The philosophy that we enter the world with innate, powerful and beautiful imaginations is the core for all of C. S. O'Kelly's works and a belief that permeates all things created by C. S.

    Book Review

Reviewed by JB McPherson for Readers' Favorite

Beautifully illustrated, The Adventures of Gracie and MonkeyBear - Book 1: Summer revels in the imagination and the marvels of childhood. The narrative is by C.S. O’Kelly and illustrations are by Jordy Farrell. Together they create a delightful book. Gracie and MonkeyBear (her dog) share adventures sparked by places in her backyard. A mound of dirt becomes a dinosaur excavation site, a tree becomes a landing site for an alien, and the kiddie pool becomes the habitat of a mother whale trying to save her child from an ensnaring net. Gracie and MonkeyBear rise to every occasion, even freeing a live dinosaur and speaking to an alien (in alien language!). Only when the sun sets do they hear Grandma’s voice calling them home for dinner.

The magic of The Adventures of Gracie and MonkeyBear resides in the clever combination of text and illustrations. Often the illustration picks up where the story pauses, and vice versa. This element allows the child reader to supply the imagination to fuel the narrative. The creators dedicate the book thus: “For all the girls in all the worlds: May you feel strength with your first breath, realize your unlimited potential for greatness on your second, and follow your dreams on your third.”

Despite the girl protagonist and dedication, this book will appeal to boys as well. MonkeyBear the dog provides humorous moments when his enigmatic barks are completely understood by Gracie. All children will relate to the need to include snacks in any invention, and brushes with dinosaurs and aliens draw everyone into the excitement. O’Kelly and Farrell have created a rollicking adventure of imagination! A wonderful book!

Rosemary Baxter

This is my kids favorite book – not even close! Once you read it aloud a few times and get used to the 'VOOSURIAN' Language JungJung the alien, it is simply a joy to read and kids love the pace, characters and the overall 'AHH' factor.

Looks like a book 2: Winter is on the way from C.S. O'Kelly and I hope it comes out late 2017!

Highly recommend this book and hopefully, series to those with children with lots of imagination :)

Chandra West

Lovely story about friendship and helping those in need and going on epic adventures. Both my son and daughter have worn this book out :) We live in NY and the neighborhood visual feels like it takes place in our backyard!

Would be great to see our local bookstores carrying it... hint hint...

Looking forward to more from C.S. O'Kelly!

Robert Martinez

My son & daughter received this book as a gift from their grandmother. I was touched by the story & my kids read it over and over. Not sure what exactly it is, but the book is just different than others. I also would love my local bookstore to carry it as I would love to give it to my nieces and nephews in Mexico, I saw a Spanish version on Amazon.

Looking forward to more from this author.

Isabella Sontorno

I live in Italy and this book is wonderful! My English is not great, but I love to read it to my children and feel that I am reading it great. My two sons make all the whale talks and alien talks too.

Hoping for more in this book group.

Devan Black

I bought this book (and Book 2: Winter) for my boys. Yes, it has a dedication to 'All the girls in all the worlds...' but what a wonderful book for boys! It took me a few tries with the Voosurian language and that was my sons favorite part :)

Book 2, is a bit heavier in theme, but powerful and once again, we love the feel of the illustrations and the teamwork between Gracie and MonkeyBear.

Great series! But wish it was a bit easier to find outside of Amazon.

K.C. Beachum

My daughter checked this book out so many times from our local library that we final bought her a copy and another for the library. Special book filled with memorable characters and adventures. I love MonkeyBear, and my daughter loves JungJung and Stuff-A-Mus and Gracie of course!

Highly recommend, but agree with other comments that it is hard to find outside of Amazon.

T. Munoz

Thank you Readers' Favorite for helping us find this book! My grandkids and I read it every time they visit and they have started acting out the different stories in our backyard :) We just found book 2: Winter and will purchase when the hardcover comes out.

We want more!

K. Ridley

If you have not read this book, you need to find it and give it a go. My boys grabed it off the 'New Books' section of our library in Fort Worth. Wonderful story with fun characters and like others have said, it's just different!

Our librarian said book 2 is out in November 2017 and they should have it within a few weeks. Going to be hard to top the first :)

I also asked for it at our local bookstore and hope they can get the series.

M. Salazar

My kids and grandkids love these books (we have book 2: Winter also). The friendship between MonkeyBear and Gracie is special and our kids cheer them on when they are helping new friends :) If you want books that will defiinitly get wornout, The Adventures of Gracie & MonkeyBear are for you.

Now we need Book 3!

J. Jackson

Checked it out of our local library. Grandsons found it fascinating. Checked out books in T-Rex, whales & aliens next :) looking forward to more books in this series!

B. Brooks

All I can say, my kids loved the book. I'll admit, it has a fast pace and a bit of a frenetic feel, but after reading the authors 'vision' of the book, I get it and it's an amazing adventure.

The key is to read it to your kids and see how they react to the story.
Two thumbs of from a 4, 6 & 9 year-old (2 boys & a girl)!

Sherri Alton

I'm 6 and this is my best book and I have lots. My favorite part is MonkeyBear and his sub and ET.
Thank you.

J. Holyfield

Was looking for a book that had a main character that looked like kids. Creative and imaginative. Only knock I give it, is the price seams a bit high, but still well worth it and book 2 is just as good.

D. Alou

We adore MonkeyBear and my girls dressed up as Gracie for Halloween (mechanic suit and the Indiann Jones outfit).

Can't get enough of these books! Still waiting for Powell's Books to bring them to our neighborhood... hello Portland.