Good Night, Gorilla

Peggy Rathmann, Author
Peggy Rathmann, Author Putnam Publishing Group $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-22445-4
Reviewed on: 04/11/1994
Release date: 04/01/1994
Universally understandable subject matter and a narrative conveyed almost entirely through pictures mark this as an ideal title for beginners. A zookeeper makes his nightly rounds, bidding good night to a gorilla, a lion, a giraffe and so on. He doesn't know that the gorilla has procured his keys and is unlocking each animal's cage; a jungly crowd files quietly behind the keeper as he walks home and crawls into bed. When his wife says, ``Good night, dear,'' seven voices reply, ``Good night,'' and it's up to the missus to return the mischievous menagerie. Although Rathmann's illustrations lack the artistic ingenuity she displayed in Ruby the Copycat and Bootsie Barker Bites , the author/artist connects with her audience on several levels. Children can identify with the animals, who have toys in their cages (the elephant has a plush Babar) and resist being left alone in their ``rooms'' all night; they will also enjoy some minor subplots. Some details prove questionable (for example, one overdrawn visage of Mrs. Zookeeper seems blurry, particularly because she's rendered with a few simple lines elsewhere), yet these considerations take a back seat to Rathmann's comic exuberance. Ages 3-6. ( Apr. )
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