In the first volume of Bunny and Monkey’s wacky war, Monkey landed in Bunny’s peaceful forest in January and declared his intentions of taking over. Shenanigans ensued, lasting through June. The second volume of their adventures covers July through December and continues the silly, destructive, and humorous interactions of Monkey, Bunny, and their friends and co-conspirators Skunky, Pig, Weenie the squirrel, Le Fox, and others.

Readers will need to be familiar with the previous volume to understand what’s going on: Monkey, with the inventive help of Skunky, is still intent on taking over the woods, while Bunny and his friends try to keep things peaceful. However, the short story clips can be read independently. They include several wacky inventions by Skunky, which inevitably go wrong; the misadventures of Metal Steve the robot, Pig, and Weenie; and some clever storytelling by Le Fox. American readers may be a little confused by the chapter on conkers. There’s an underlying plot thread of Skunky’s secret plans that runs through the humorous stories and the book ends on a cliffhanger with a shocking discovery made by all the woodland creatures.

The art is consistent with the first volume, featuring lots of colorful action, tightly packed panels, and multiple speech bubbles. Readers will quickly pick up on the characteristics of each cartoon creature, from the destructive and unfocused Monkey to the responsible and anxious Bunny. The backgrounds change with the season, moving from the rich greens of summer to the gold and reds of autumn and the return of a white winter in the forest.

While the first volume had more depth than I had expected, this second volume doesn’t follow through, sticking to the same formulas, explosions, and jokes. If you purchased the first volume, you will want to keep up with the series and add the second; however, it does not stand well on its own and the series is still only available in paperback. It’s a light, fun read and sure to be popular with young comic fans, but if you’re looking for more solid and lasting fare (literally) in humorous books for young readers, stick with Bird & Squirrel by James Burks, Phoebe and Her Unicorn by Dana Simpson, Stinky Cecil by Paige Braddock, or Hotel Strange by Ferrier.

Bunny vs. Monkey, vol 2
by Jamie Smart
Art by Jennifer Wharton
ISBN: 9781338149104
Scholastic, 2017
Publisher Age Rating: Ages 7-10

  • Jennifer

    | She/Her Youth Services Librarian, Matheson Memorial Library

    Reviewer

    Jennifer Wharton is the Youth Services Librarian at Matheson Memorial Library in Elkhorn, Wisconsin where she maintains the juvenile and young adult graphic novel collections and was responsible for creating the library’s adult graphic novel collection. She is constantly looking for great new comics for kids and teens and new ways to incorporate graphic storytelling in programming. Jennifer blogs for preschool through middle grade at JeanLittleLibrary and has an MLS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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