Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Priscilla Gorilla by Barbara Bottner, illustrated by Michael Emberley

Priscilla, an enthusiastic, biracial girl, is crazy about gorillas. She eats, sleeps, and dreams gorillas. She even wears her gorilla suit to school! After all, gorillas can do whatever they want - or can they?

As chaos erupts in Priscilla's class, her long-suffering teacher tries various methods to deal with Priscilla and her classmates and Priscilla's parents even make a few mild suggestions. Finally however, it's Priscilla herself who comes to realize she needs to adapt her behavior a little bit.

The illustrations are cute and fun, but what I most enjoyed was her teacher, Mr. Todd's reactions. He tries to get Priscilla to stop disrupting the class but doesn't discourage her enthusiasm and love of gorillas. He's got plenty on his plate with a full class of exuberant, quirky kids anyways. The additional humor of Priscilla's parents apparently having installed monkey bars and climbing rings in their house for her tickled my funny bone as well.

Verdict: There are plenty of books about kids misbehaving in school, but this has a light touch and a lesson that comes from the kids themselves, not from an adult perspective, that I think will resonate with listeners.

ISBN: 9781481458979; Published 2017 by Simon and Schuster; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

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