Higby Throws a Fit by Todd Aaron Smith offers another story about the lovable little monkey. In this volume Higby finds a toy: a shiny, red yo-yo left by some boys who visited him at the zoo. His caretaker, though, won't let him have it. She's explains "It's not a toy for a monkey." But Higby still wants it. Badly.
That's when he remembers a little girl who came to the zoo. She wanted something from the gift shop, but her mother said "no." The girl threw a fit, screaming and crying, until the mother gave in and bought her the toy. Higby thinks if he acts like that little girl, he'll get what he wants too. He tries. He yells and hollars and stamps his feet. He makes a huge fuss, but no one notices. His fit doesn't get him what he wants; it only makes him feel silly and foolish.
Finally he finds a way to get the toy. Once he gets it and starts playing with it, something goes with the yo-yo and Higby gets whacked in the teeth. Now more than his pride is injured; his face feels the pain, too. That's when he realizes that his friend didn't take the toy away to be mean. She just wants to keep Higby safe. Hibgy relates this to God. God doesn't always let us have everything we want, but it's not to ruin our fun. God knows what's best, and because He loves us so very much, He wants to keep us safe."
The illustrations, also by Todd Aaron Smith, feature a bold comic book style and vibrant colors.
What I Like: My kids really like books by this author. Something about the pictures completely draws them in. This is a cute story with a good lesson about God's love and protection over us.
What I Dislike: The title misled me. I expected this book to teach children why throwing fits is wrong. Higby learns that fits don't help the situation, but instead of choosing to obey, the curious monkey simply finds another way to get what he wants. Then, after learning the hard way, decides that what his authority said makes sense. I want my children to obey me without fits even when they don't understand the reasons for the rule.
Also, Higby's zookeeper is a little too "betty" for me. She sports red lipstick, painted nails and a tight top. It's not a huge deal, just more than I think my 3-year-old son needs to see.
Overall Rating: Good.
Age Appeal: 3-8
Publisher Info: Barbour Publishing, 2003; ISBN: 1586608584; Hardback; $5.95