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Book Review < Back

Monkey & Spoon

Credits: Written and Illustrated by Simone Lia
Publisher: AdHouse Books


She's a play spoon. He's a stuffed monkey. And not everything is blissful in this marital union of toys complete with silent treatments, anger, miscommunication, and the awkward spaces in-between. Our story opens with a simple dispute over the kitchen table -- as so many of life's encounters do -- a convenient substitution for the issues of importance that have true and lasting impact on our lives. Can this monkey ever learn to listen to his beloved spoon, or will he falter and lose his stuffing once and for all?

MONKEY & SPOON is an experiment in contrasts. Serious themes played out against the backdrop of children's cartoons meant for sophisticated readers. It's not surprising then that its creator, Simone Lia, is a children's book illustrator that possesses a remarkable eye for page composition and layout. The impact of her work isn't found in the contours of her lines, but in the simplicity in which she's able to convey the thoughtful and the heartfelt.

I found MONKEY & SPOON to be a pleasantly rewarding little book, genuinely instilling interest in its playful characters, while prompting self-reflection by design. Simone Lia has crafted here a sincere account of a friendship adrift on the ocean of familiarity, yet longing to rekindle a lost love that's closer then it appears. A more realistic portrayal of these themes will be hard to find, even though it's made of a monkey and a spoon.

-- Peter Aaron Rose

Peter Aaron Rose is a writer, producer and technologist who lives and works in San Francisco, CA. Under the pseudonym "Peter Siegel", he recently authored Killing Demons, a graphic novel available from Engine Press and Platinum Studios.


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