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Whether leaping through the vines of a rainforest or the pages of a book at the library, monkeys have lots to teach us about the ways animals live, our responsibilities in caring for the last wild places, and just how to have fun.

I'll bet you know that monkeys are furry, cute, and swing in the trees, but there's so much more to learn about them:

A Monkey is NOT an Ape

Monkeys have tails, but apes do not. Chimpanzees, gibbons, orangutans, and gorillas are all apes. They use their powerful arms and legs to swing through the trees. Many New World monkeys from South America can use their tails like another hand to swing. Monkeys from Asia and India can't do that! Monkeys, apes, and humans are all part of a family group called primates.

Fun Monkey Facts:

  • The smallest monkey is a marmoset.
  • The biggest is the baboon.
  • Monkeys and apes have squiggly brains like humans. The folding makes them look squiggly and allows for a lot more brain inside. That makes them a lot smarter than many animals. Many animals have smooth brains that look more like tennis balls.
  • Monkeys and apes are pretty good at understanding people language. Scientists are now trying to understand monkey language.

Learn more about these incredible creatures online and in the library. We've also found lots of monkey games, stories, and crafts so you can go bananas with monkey fun.

Monkeys in the Library

The Complete Adventures of Curious George by Margret & H.A. Rey
Seven classic stories featuring "the good little monkey who was always very curious" and his friend, the man with the yellow hat.

The Great Monkey Rescue: Saving the Golden Lion Tamarins by Sandra Markle
Learn how golden lion tamarins were saved when their habitat was destroyed by logging in Brazil.Monkey

The Hatseller and the Monkeys: A West African Folktale retold and illustrated by Baba Wague Diakite
BaMusa is clever at making and selling hats, but one day he is a little foolish to nap under a mango tree filled with playful monkeys who have no hats of their own.

I Like Monkeys Because-- by Peter Hansard
Meet many monkeys and apes from all over the world. Part of the Read and Wonder series for beginning readers.

Mad About Monkeys by Owen Davey
A beautiful and exciting look at New World and Old World monkeys around the world.

The Monkey Goes Bananas by C.P. Bloom
Silly Monkey will do anything he can to get to the bananas across the water.

Monkeys and Apes by Lisa M. Herrington
This short, colorful book is a perfect introduction to monkeys before that first school trip to the zoo.

New World Monkeys by Amanda Harmon
Learn more about the monkeys of the Americas.

Pedro and the Monkey retold from Filipino folklore by Robert D. San Souci
Pedro, a poor farmer, is rewarded for his kindness to a monkey when the clever creature finds him a rich bride and helps him imprison a horrible giant.

So Say the Little Monkeys by Nancy Van Laan
Tiny monkeys living and playing by a riverbank think that there's always amanha (tomorrow) to make a shelter from the storm in this rolicking folktale from Brazil.

Spider Monkeys by Vicky Franchino
They climb through the trees and live in troops. Learn more about the vanishing spider monkey.

A Web Full of Monkeys

DLTK's Crafts for Kids
Paper puppets, pages to color, and a monkey mask for you. Also crafts featuring the ever curious George.

Monkey Doorknob Hanger
This little monkey has a mission: "Do Not Disturb." Print out the pattern, color, and cut it out.

Monkey Match
A new way to play "Simon Says" from the folks at PBS' Between the Lions.

Pipe Cleaner Monkey
These little guys are more fun than a barrel of monkeys. Make them in different colors, hang them, and share them with friends.

Sock Monkey
Long live the sock monkey! These classic stuffed animals require some sewing skills and the right kind of socks.