Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Read, Read, Read, said the Baby: What is baby gorilla doing? by Christena Nippert-Eng, John Dominski, and Miguel Martinez

I have to admit that I don't really like apes or monkeys. I usually avoid them at the zoo and generally don't read books about them. I can't really explain this - maybe because they look human and so it bothers me to see them in cages? Not really sure. Anyways, I put aside this weirdness of mine because kids love books about apes and monkeys and our schools do various animal/nonfiction units that involve these animals.

Nippert-Eng did a great chapter book on Gorillas, so she popped up again with a new book on my radar and I was surprised to see a board book. But it makes sense, since it's basically a nonfiction for very, very young listeners showing a baby doing normal baby things - it's just a gorilla baby!

Set against white and pale green, yellow, and other light-colored backgrounds, baby gorillas are shown doing various actions, just like a human baby. Each page includes one pastel word describing the action. One spread shows a small gorilla SCRATCHING while the facing page shows a gorilla CLIMBING a log. The cover gorilla repeats the pose TASTING something. Other actions include feeling, smelling, reaching, smiling, and more. The final spread recreates all the different actions and words.

The back of the book shows how the original photos were edited to show the babies against a plain background and explains that the gorillas were not posed, but photographed in their zoo habitats.

Verdict: Unless they have weird feelings about apes, parents, babies, and toddlers will all enjoy seeing an animal both alike and unlike themselves enjoy the same activities they like. Skillfully photographed and with a great layout, this is a board book that will fly off your shelves.

ISBN: 9781627794794; Published 2017 by Henry Holt; Borrowed from another library

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