Underwear by Mary Elise Monsell – Book Review

Underwear by Mary Elise MonsellThe front cover of Underwear! by Mary Elise Monsell shows a zebra walking along a tree branch while covered in different colored underwear.

The ridiculous image sets the theme for the entire book.

While silly, Underwear! contains an amusing story and humorous pictures. The book is surprisingly fun to read for adults and kept the attention of my five-month old daughter throughout the entire story.

As expected from the title and the cover image, the plot of Underwear! is farcical. Zachary the zebra likes wearing underwear and he and his animal friends spend the book discussing undergarments.

The book runs 24 pages, but with only a single, short sentence on most pages the text is simple enough to occupy even the youngest readers. Children aren’t likely to learn new vocabulary from the story with the notable exception of the word “underwear”.

The illustrations by Lynn Munsinger add a memorable touch the story line. With bright colors and full expressions, Zachary and his friends make the book much more interesting for youngsters. Arya particularly enjoyed the pages focusing on Bismark the Buffalo for both the contrasting pictures and the odd sounds daddy was forced to make to read the book. I thought the final page with the animals in their underwear was a fitting conclusion to a fun story.

Underwear! appeals to a large age range. Babies will love listening to adult reading (and laughing at) the odd words. Older children will like reading a book about a comical topic with repetitive vocabulary.

Underwear! costs (including shipping) under $7 new and $5 used from Amazon.