HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Good Night, Gorilla
Author and Illustrator: Peggy Rathmann
Publisher: Puffin, republished in 2000
ISBN-13: 978-0399224454 (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0399224459 (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-0698116498 (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0698116496 (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 978-0399230035 (Board book)
ISBN-10: 0399230033 (Board book)
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 2 and up
Rating: 4 stars (GOOD)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Rathmann, Peggy. Good Night, Gorilla (originally published in 1994 by G. P. Putnam’s Sons). The zookeeper says, “Good night, Gorilla.” But the little gorilla steals the keeper’s keys and lets himself out of his cage. Then he follows the keeper around and lets out the elephant, lion, hyena, giraffe, and armadillo. Along with a banana-toting mouse, they all follow the zookeeper home. What happens when the light is turned out, the blurry-eyed keeper’s wife tells him, “Good night,” and they all answer back? This story is presented in comic book style with no narrative and all the dialogue in balloons.
Children love to go to the zoo and to read about animals. With only 34 pages and ten different words, Good Night, Gorilla is appropriate for infants, toddlers, and beginning readers. A small number of reviewers complained about the lack of much plot, and turning pages in silence is perhaps not the best for really wiggly kids, but most youngsters will enjoy both the humor and the expressive artwork. It is the kind of book at which adults can laugh about as much as children. Author and illustrator Peggy Rathmann is also creator of the Caldecott-winning Officer Buckle and Gloria.