book cover of Hotel Jungle

Hotel Jungle

(2004)
A Picture Book by

 
 
Publisher's Weekly
In this dubious comedy about clever primates and dunderheaded tourists, baboons operate an African hotel while its owners and regular guests are away. Before the baboons take over, two Hotel Jungle vacationers write an enthusiastic postcard to their California friends, praising their posh digs. Stateside, two children read the card and beg their mother for a family trip. The obliging mom "call[s] Dad at the office" and tells the kids, "Pack your bags." Little do the intrepid travelers know that the Hotel Jungle manager has won a lottery and shared the spoils with his guests. "Drop everything," he says. "We're going to the coast for an all-expenses-paid cruise." Everyone spontaneously departs, leaving the hotel empty, and in sneaks a pack of playful baboons. When the four newcomers arrive, they assume the baboons run the place: "We're in the wild. Let's go for it," shrugs the daughter, as she and her mom get Flintstones-style hairdos in the salon. Spengler (Kissing Coyotes) overemphasizes the tourists' wackiness, but his rich greens, fruity golds and macaw blues capture the safari setting, and his tilted perspectives energize the pages. At first, the curious baboons and dimwitted tourists are good for a laugh. But this tale doesn't go anywhere as Napoli (Rocky, the Cat Who Barked) and Johnston resurrect clich s about dopey Americans who seem to expect the most bizarre behavior when they get to deepest Africa. Ages 4-8. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
A vacationing family ends up in the middle of an improbable adventure in a hotel run entirely by baboons. Receiving a postcard from their friends about their wonderful vacation, Susannah and Jimmy convince their parents to travel there as well. Unbeknownst to them, the staff and all of the guests of the posh hotel go on an unexpected luxury cruise, leaving the jungle inhabitants to run the show. The unsuspecting family is soon playing, grooming, eating, and sleeping like their jungle friends. Wildly colored illustrations of baboons in bell-hop uniforms and humans with baboon-inspired hairdos liven up this tale. Unfortunately, whimsy quickly dissolves into plain silliness as the implausibly naive family spends their vacation following the lead of the local baboon population. Painfully absurd. (Picture book. 3-7)

Genre: Children's Fiction

Used availability for Donna Jo Napoli's Hotel Jungle

Hardback Editions

May 2007 : USA Hardback
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Title: Hotel Jungle
Author(s): Donna Jo Napoli, Shelagh Johnston
ISBN: 1-59336-002-9 / 978-1-59336-002-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Mondo Pub
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Paperback Editions

April 2004 : USA Paperback

Title: Hotel Jungle
Author(s): Donna Jo Napoli, Shelagh Johnston
ISBN: 1-59336-003-7 / 978-1-59336-003-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Mondo Pub
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU