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Monty loves to hear his friends, the meerkats, praise his gloriously beautiful mane, so he allows them to play in it. But they irritate him when they tug on it and tickle him. When he angrily shakes them off, he falls and damages his mane. The meerkats try to restore it by brushing, braiding, and decorating it with feathers. Now Monty is really angry. He stomps away.

Monty’s vanity leads to a calamity when his mane is ruined by a hungry crocodile who lures him with compliments. The crocodile pursues Monty to his home and then tries to attack the meerkats. Unselfishly Monty intervenes to save his friends, finally realizing what is most important to him.

Gemma O’Neill’s vibrant, action-packed illustrations enhance her humorous tale inthis picture book with the serious yet subtle message that love of friends trumps selfish vanity and pursuits. (Candlewick)

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