Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Go-Go Gorillas

Well, Christmas happened around here.  And some holiday travel.  And some ongoing illness.  So while you may be sure that books are being read and pored over and otherwise adored at our house, it has indeed been frightfully long since I've posted.  The children got some really lovely new books for Christmas.  I got some Barnes & Noble gift cards from my oh-so-generous in-laws, who will doubtless not be the slightest bit surprised that I spent every last penny of them (plus a little) on children's books.  I expect, therefore, to have a lot of new, wonderful books to review soon!  But the one that I've picked for today is not really a new book.  It's new to us, because Gorilla got it for Christmas.

My husband and I did a quick read-though of this one at the store, but we primarily bought it because of the gorilla reference, and I wasn't really expecting to love the content.  Well, I'm here to tell you that I love the content.  Go-Go Gorillas was written by Julia Durango and published in 2010.  It's a rhyming book, and the bouncy text just makes me want to get up and dance.  It begins like this:

In the Great Gorilla Villa,
King Big Daddy paced the floor.
Then he called his royal messenger
and steered her toward the door.
  "Summon every last gorilla
to the Villa, don't be late.
I expect them all by sundown -
please don't make Big Daddy wait!"

Go get
Gotta get
gorillas, go!

The King's royal messenger is a tiny mouse on a bicycle, and she scurries hither and yon, gathering up the gorilla relatives.  The king's nephew, niece, aunt, uncle, sister, brother, cousins, grandpa and granny are all notified, and each chooses a different mode of transportation.  The air of expectancy is intensified by the responsiveness of the king's relatives.  Each finishes what he or she is doing and gets on the way, chanting:

Go-go gorillas!
Gotta go,
gorillas, go!

The relations choose a bike, rowboat, roller-skates, truck, bus, jalopy, hot-air balloon, pogo stick, taxi and airplane, respectively, to reach their destination.  A couple of spreads highlight the whole crew on their way, and DD likes to talk about who's riding on what.  He's four, and is able to identify each one.  It's been a fun way to discuss things like taxis and pogo sticks, with which he doesn't have personal experience.

One of my favorite things about this book is that at the end, we discover the reason for King Big Daddy's haste in gathering his relatives.  It's because he wants to introduce them to...his new baby girl!  We love that, as our own gorilla nickname sprang from a play on the word "girl".  And speaking of baby girl gorilla, her super talented and thoughtful aunt made her this amazing hat for Christmas.  Who knew a gorilla could look so sweet and feminine?

What I like: the rhyme, the gorilla references, the variety in transportation, and the refrain.
What the kids like: the refrain, the silly pictures, and the bouncy way the story moves along.  

Give it a read if you see it!  We hope you'll like it, too.

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