Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
The Adventures of Gracie & MonkeyBear: Winter, Book 2 is a children’s picture book written by C.S. O'Kelly and illustrated by Jordy Farrell. Gracie and MonkeyBear loved having adventures, and so Gracie was thrilled to announce that there had been a visitor to their backyard the night before. Snow was lying thick on the ground as the two explorers started to examine the evidence, and they could hear strange sounds coming from the corner of the yard where there was a pile of shoveled snow. Approaching more closely, they noticed that a tunnel had been dug into the snow and the noises were coming from inside. They climbed inside and discovered a yeti, who was understandably quite concerned about his yak. Yomo Yak had made that classic error of judgment and licked the ice. Now, his tongue was stuck, and there was nothing Yeshi Yeti could do to help his friend. Gracie, however, had a plan, and she was quite sure it would work. Solving problems like this one was all in a day’s work for her and MonkeyBear.
C.S. O'Kelly’s children’s picture book, The Adventures of Gracie & MonkeyBear: Winter, Book 2, is a picture book that deftly interweaves fantasy, humor and kid-size steampunk fantasy. Once I discovered, along with them, the yak with his tongue stuck to the ice, I couldn’t help but revisit in my mind the classic movie, The Christmas Story, and feel once again that uncanny blend of humor and pity at the poor yak’s plight. This book also provides yet another compelling reason why all kids should have a dog as their companion. Gracie and MonkeyBear’s friendship is a marvel to behold, and their adventures show how incredibly well they work together as a team. And it’s all about teamwork and compassion and ingenuity. Jordy Farrell’s illustrations are marvelous and highlight the Jules Verne-like atmosphere that makes this book so special. The flying sled is marvelous, and its occupants even more so. Designed to get kids and adults dreaming and imagining, this book does its job perfectly. The Adventures of Gracie & MonkeyBear: Winter, Book 2 is most highly recommended.