Maxwell the MonkeyMaxwell the Monkey Barber, Cale Atkinson, Owlkids Press, 2016.

Maxwell the monkey is the jungle’s barber. All the animals with out of control hair come to Maxwell. He is the best at what he does. He is able to tame Baboon’s curls, style Lion’s mane, and trim Bear’s beard.

Each time he declares to his customer: “Your hair’s the best I’ve seen today!”

Maxwell’s only challenge arrives with Elephant. He has no hair. Can Maxwell help him?  After some careful pondering, Maxwell comes up with a plan to help the hairless Elephant.

Cale Atkinson’s bright, cartoon-like digital illustrations welcome children into Maxwell’s world. The rhyming text, the speech bubbles, and the refrain make this story a fun read-aloud for children in PreK through 3rd grade.

Maxwell is a great character, sure to be a favorite of young readers. His warm personality, along with his charm and enthusiasm for helping others will warrant a discussion about what it looks like for children to be excited about helping others.

Which is the best part of this book.

Maxwell sees a need – Elephant has no hair – and spends a great deal of time thinking about the perfect solution. He does not rush into “fix-it” mode. He is careful and comes up with the solution to use the hair from his other customers to create a wig for Elephant.

Maxwell the Monkey Barber provides a great opportunity for conservation about children with cancer. It could also lead to a group project working with an organization like Locks of Love.

You can purchase your own copy by clicking on the image below:

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a digital review copy.