Monkey Ono, written and illustrated by J.C. Phillipps

Today Biblio Links welcomes back the funny and talented author/illustrator J.C. Phillips

Photograph by Phyllis Meredith Photography
Photograph by Phyllis Meredith Photography

 I interviewed J.C. last year about her Wink the Ninja picture books, both favorites in my school library.

Her latest book, Monkey Ono,  came out this summer, just in time for beach day, and it’s officially my 7-year-old son’s favorite book. His first grade class had a Beach Day at their school, and he slipped Monkey Ono into his backpack. His teacher read it to an enthusiastic audience of newly-minted Monkey Ono fans.

Here’s the summary from J.C. Phillipps’ website:

Monkey Ono is not exactly a real monkey, but he really, really wants to go to the beach! So when Beach Day arrives, and the children who own him forget the bag he’s in, Monkey Ono does not take this lying down, like most stuffed animals would. Oh no, he’s got a plan. In fact he’s got many, many plans. From riding the family dog to ricocheting through the sky to diving down the water pipes. All end with hilarious results, but not exactly according to plan. Will Monkey Ono ever get to the beach?? Only if the beach comes to him…

Monkey Ono

Biblio Links: A student walks into my library and I think: That kid needs a copy of MONKEY ONO. Who is this kid?

J.C. Phillipps: The ideal Monkey Ono reader is a child who is determined, tenacious, and thinks out of the box.  He or she loves to laugh and thinks toilets and underwear are hilarious.  A love of silly stuffed monkeys and catch-phrases is a bonus.
Biblio Links: If we were to peek into a classroom where a teacher is using your book in a lesson or with a small group, what might we see or hear?
J.C. Phillipps: Monkey Ono is a great story for teaching students how to write simple plot-lines.  The character Monkey Ono is introduced along with a clear goal: Monkey Ono wants a beach day.  Monkey Ono makes a choice to reach his goal and meets an obstacle.  Monkey Ono makes another choice and meets another obstacle.   This keeps going until Monkey Ono achieves his goal.  He is always focused on a singular goal – so it’s very stream-lined.   It’s a  straight-forward, linear story with a clear external character objective.
Biblio Links: I’ll also add that Monkey Ono uses both pictures and words to make his plans; a perfect springboard for pre-writers to draw up their own sequenced plans for fun.  
Where can teachers, librarians and students learn more about you and your book?  
J.C. Phillipps: Oh my goodness.  There are sooo many social media outlets now.  I think the best places to find out more about me and my books are my website ( and my blog (

Biblio Links: Thanks for joining us, Julie!

Teachers and librarians, go to this link for a virtual tour  of J.C.’s studio, here for extra activities for your students, and here to check out J.C.’s art on Teacher Pay Teachers.

The Nitty Gritty~

Publisher: Viking Juvenile

Publication Date: March 2013

ISBN-13: 978-0670785056

Interest Level: 3-8 years

Number of Pages: 40


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