I Am a Sensible Gibbon


It seems that there is only one rule and that is that ‘fun- is entirely forbidden‘. What’s more this rule encompasses everything. Gibbon explains in I Am a Sensible Gibbon what it means to be sensible. It seems it entails ‘no tutus or dressing as birds‘. There is to be ‘no clapping of hands or animal bands’. What’s more, there must be ‘no drama with Llama‘ nor ‘tortoise styling its hare’. 

Will Mabbitt’s wordplay is outstanding. We exalt in the nonsense and wonder and imagination. What’s more, his rhyme is delightful so that I Am a Sensible Gibbon begs to be read repeatedly and thereafter recited.

Meanwhile, Claudia Boldt offers a cacophony of creatures and colours that seem poised to break free of Gibbon’s rule. Is it possible that there must be no cake, for example? Or ‘no tap-dancing tarsiers’ or ‘hamsters on wheels’? Sensible sounds rather dull….

Bookwagon recommends I Am a Sensible Gibbon highly as a bedtime read, a bookshelf favourite, for gifting, and for sharing in classrooms and assemblies too.

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I Am a Sensible Gibbon

Will Mabbitt and Claudia Boldt


It seems that this is a sensible book, for I Am a Sensible Gibbon, our narrator informs us. Being sensible means adhering to ‘RULE ONE: if it looks like some fun then, -, it’s forbidden’. Thereafter, there must be ‘no baboons with balloons, no pink macaroons’. It seems that there must be ‘no sheepdogs that leap over sheep in a heap’ nor ‘pelicans leaping the loop’. What’s more cake is denied, while bare bears are definitely excluded!
As Gibbon’s rules continue, the hilarity increases. What’s more, within the word play are superior examples of homophones and rhyme. It’s one of the reasons we love Will Mabbitt’s picture books, such as Flea Seeks Dog and I Can Only Draw Worms.
Thereafter, Claudia Boldt’s wax resist/ crayon pictures are a riot of movement and colour. It seems as though everything is in full suspense, dictated to by Gibbon’s directions. Is it all barely/ early holding there? Is the assembly really so obedient? Must the ‘mythical creatures‘ avoid ‘humorous speeches’ really? Even Unicorn?
Bookwagon imagines this title being read at bedtime, in assemblies, reread and recited. I Am a Sensible Gibbon is a triumph of words and pictures, fun and nonsense- but don’t tell Gibbon!


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