Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Ages: 2 – 5 years
I have a confession to make ….
I dismissed Good Night Gorilla at first, because I thought it was just going to be another bedtime book that bid good night to a variety of animals.
Boy was I wrong!
As usual, I read it in the kitchen alone while the jug was boiling the water for my cup-of-tea. Just like my kids did later on that night, I laughed out loud around page 20.
I couldn’t wait to show the kids this one!
‘’Mum, look, the Gorilla stole the keys!’’ piped up my son.
‘’Mum, look! He let the giraffe out!’’ my daughter yelled.
When we got to my favorite page, my son cracked up laughing.
‘’That gorilla is cheeky!’’ my daughter said, giggling.
Good Night Gorilla is perfect for younger readers as it’s told nearly entirely in pictures with little in the way of actual text.
It’s a great opportunity for the kids to focus on the images and discuss what they see. In my opinion, this is the best part of the book…..The opportunity to actually engage the kids and have them talk to me about what they see on the pages!
Good Night Gorilla is a children’s classic, and a must have for any family with young children. It’s one of those books thats always welcome, always funny, and always an absolute delight!
PS. There’s a balloon (sometimes hard to find) on every outdoor scene in this book. See if your kids can find it!
The first page sets the tone of the book delightfully. The zookeeper appears tired, with slumped shoulders and eyes barely open as he bids goodnight to Gorilla.
‘’Good night, Gorilla.’’
Because he is so tired, he doesn’t notice the gorilla stealing the keys off his belt.
He says good night to some of the other animals as he is walking out of the Zoo.
If you’re paying attention to the illustrations, you will notice that Gorilla is letting the other animals out of their enclosures as the Zoo keeper passes by.
The animals begin to follow him, single file in the dark, all the way out of the Zoo and into his house.
He walks into his bedroom, sits on the side of the bed and takes his shoes off … never noticing the Zoo animals that have followed him into the room.
His wife, eyes still closed, says ‘’Good night, dear.’’
No less that seven ‘’Good night’s’’ are heard from various corners of the room.
She quickly turns the lights on. We see her holding Gorilla’s hand and taking him back to his enclosure in the zoo, torch in hand.
‘’Goodnight, Zoo.’’ She says, heading back to the comfort of the house.
Except, guess who follows her back? Yes, that cheeky Gorilla, who is now looking directly at the reader, gesturing for them to ‘’Shhhhhhhh’’.
Peggy Rathmann is an award-winning children’s book author. Good Night, Gorilla was originally produced as a homework assignment inspired by a childhood memory. The original ending was a dud, but ten endings later, Good Night Gorilla was published and recognized as an American Library Association Notable Children’s Book.
Good Night Gorilla will be always welcome, always funny and always delightful in any house that has children. A children’s classic, and a must have for any family with little ones.