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The Boy Who Went Ape

by Benjamin James Watson

illustrated by RJ Watson

Scholastic/Blue Sky Press

2008

ISBN 13: 9780590479660

ISBN 10: 0590479660

Sometimes boys and chimpanzees act very much alike--especially on school field trips!

Come along and join the fun when a visit to the zoo sets off a day of hilarious antics.

Who is the boy, and who is the ape?

Monkey see, monkey do!


Richard and son, Benjamin, collaborated on this wacky romp of a story. 

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Richard spent days at the Oregon Zoo, drawing and photographing chimpanzees. Delila followed him around and even sat for poses. 

Here is one of his charcoal drawings. Because chimps bounced around the yard, he had to draw quickly.

However, Delila would sit and study Richard. She was mildly impressed when he held up the the finished drawings for her approval. 

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Oops. Characters switch places. 

"Stop that, Benjamin!" Ms. Thunderbum hissed.

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The librarian illustration, in process. 

Richard chose to paint the pictures on elephant dung paper with sumi ink line and acrylic. He first gessoed areas where he needed stronger colors, to compensate for the super absorbancy of the paper.

Finished piece of Miss Hush reading to the students. Notice which book she's reading. 

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 The last stop on the field trip is the bank.

Sketch and finished piece for the unexpected bank visitor. 

"Ooh ooh ahh ahh AHH AHHH AHHHHHHH!"

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Starting with colored elephant dung paper Richard drizzled recycled house paints on top. 

The paper was made in Sri Lanka, where a cottage industry making elephant dung paper sprung up to save elephants who had been trampling crops. 

Now farmers sell elephant pooh, and no longer need to kill elephants. 

See mrelliepooh.com to order paper. 

Look for the hidden elephant in the pictures throughout. 

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