January 6th, 2010 · 1 Comment · Books


If your kiddo likes Good Night, Gorilla, I suggest you freecycle (or maybe just recycle) the zoo propaganda and pick up a secondhand copy of Anthony Browne’s Gorilla instead.

This heartwarming picture book details the enchanted evening a little girl Hannah, somewhat neglected at home, experiences with her toy gorilla-turned-real. What makes this book a keeper from my perspective is Hannah’s reaction to viewing primates — gorillas, an orangutan, and a chimpanzee — in the zoo. Despite her joy at seeing these animals in person, she views them through cage bars and observes that they are “sad.”

The next morning, Hannah awakes to an attentive father who offers to do finally what she’s been asking him to do all along: bring her to the zoo. Whether the pair goes is ambiguous. I like to think that they spent a leisurely day in the park instead.

Ages 4-7.

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