Monkey and Me, by Emily Gravett, published by Macmillan Children's Books
This was one of the first books our daughter was given, when she was around 2 months old. We started reading it to her from then on. It's always been a favourite, but recently it took on a new significance as it is the first book our toddler ever read aloud, unprompted, by herself!
Monkey and Me follows an energetic, adventurous girl and her cuddly toy monkey, as they get themselves dressed and set off on an animal-filled day-trip. Each animal they meet is introduced by the irresistibly chant-able verse:
"Monkey and me,
monkey and me,
monkey and me, we went to see,
we went to see some......."
As we join their journey we see them meet and impersonate waddling "penguins!", boing-ing "kangaroos!", flappy "bats!" and parading "elephants!", before finishing with a double page of cheeky "monkeys!!!". Our daughter loves to call out each of the animals' names in turn, and to do her own impressions.
As the girl and her monkey friend tire from all this excitement, the words take on a slow, sleepy tone, and we follow them back "home for tea". As the book ends, we find the girl and her monkey snoozing at the kitchen table, next to a nearly finished dinner plate and a drawing of her day, while one of the cheeky monkeys sneaks away with a banana.