HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Little Gorilla
Author and Illustrator: Ruth Bornstein
Publisher: Sandpiper, republished in 1986)
ISBN-13: 978-0395287736 (hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0395287731 (hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-0899194219 (paperback)
ISBN-10: 0899194214 (paperback)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
Disclosure: Any books donated for review purposes are in turn donated to a library. No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.
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Bornstein, Ruth. Little Gorilla (published in 1979 by Clarion Books). In this simple, rhythmic text, Little Gorilla is happy because everybody in the jungle loves him. This includes not just his family, but green parrot, tall giraffe, red monkey, and other jungle dwellers too. However, one day, Little Gorilla starts to grow—and grow—and GROW, until – Little Gorilla is BIG! But do you know what? Everybody still loves him! When he is big, they come and sing and dance and wish him a happy birthday. Booklist says, “Little Gorilla’s velvety-soft world seems as comfortably secure as the story’s evocation of love and friendship.” The drawings are large-scale and fit the text very well. Children will enjoy this as a friendly and comforting bedtime story.
This sweet, darling book will strike a chord with any parent, grandparent, other relative, or friend who thinks that a certain child is the most special one in the world. It is a cute way to say, “You’ll always be special” or “You’ll always be our baby.” In addition, it is great for learning animal names and some colors. When our boys were beginning to read, we often used books like this for them to get extra practice and then did some research into the various animals to supplement their science studies. A board book edition (HMH Books, 2000; 978-0618051588) is also available. Since it is not a picture book with one word per page but tells a story that can interest both a baby and a elementary school child, Little Gorilla makes a treasured gift for newborns on up to early readers.