Why Monkeys Live in Trees
by Julius Lester
The Case of the Monkeys
That Fell from the Trees
by Susan E. Quinlan
1. Why do the animals have a contest?
To see who can eat an entire pile of black
dust in one day.
2. Why does the contest prove to be
more difficult than the animals
It proves more difficult because the mound of
dust is actually a mound of black pepper.
3. What does the monkey say he has
to do between bites of pepper?
He says he needs to lie down in the grass to
rest between bites.
4. What does Leopard see in the tall
Leopard sees hundreds of monkeys who all
look alike in the grass.
5. Why is the monkey able to eat all
Many monkeys pretend to be one monkey;
after each mouthful they change places in
the grass and go back to take a new
6. What two facts of nature does this
tale pretend to explain?
Why chickens don’t have ears and why
monkeys live in trees.
7. Why do scientists think it is strange
to see monkeys falling from trees in
the rain forest?
Monkeys are skilled tree climbers.
8. What mystery do the scientists try
The mystery of why howling monkeys were
suddenly falling from trees for no apparent
9. Why does Glander suspect the
monkeys have been poisoned?
After ruling out diseases, parasites, and
starvation, he thought they might have been
poisoned by eating leaves of poisonous
10. Why is Glander fascinated that the
monkeys eat madera negra leaves?
He is perplexed because they are highly
11. What do the Glanders conclude
about why some monkeys died, but
others did not?
They conclude that monkeys generally
sample leaves to determine if they are
poisonous. At the time the monkeys died,
however, their food choices were limited due
to a severe drought. The monkeys that died
probably ate too many of the toxic leaves.
12. What makes Glander think that
howler monkeys may provide
useful tips to scientists?
He believes that the monkeys’ choice of
leaves might help scientists choose plants
worth sampling for medicinal use.
13. What is fiction?
Writing that tells about imaginary people,
animals, and events. It contains one or more
made-up elements. Examples include short
stories and folk tales.
14. What is nonfiction?
Writing that tells about real people, animals,
places, events, and ideas. Everything in a
work of nonfiction must be true. Examples
include biographies and newspaper articles.
15. An image of one’s self, as seen in
16. Cried out in a low, loud voice.
17. Events; occurrences
18. Suddenly, without warning
19. Serious pain or sadness
20. In a stately manner, like a king or