I am sooooooo excited about the book we found this week!!!
It’s a book by ANTHONY BROWNE!!!!!
Today’s book is one we found at the school library. It just popped out at me and made me go Whoa!!
Little Beauty. Just look at that cover! Doesn’t it make you say Whoa!!?!
It was published in 2008 by Candlewick Press. (You can never go wrong with Candlewick!)
It is a fiction book about friendship and gorillas and animal communication.
It is suitable for ages 3-7. We read it with some 4th graders and they loved it!
Little Beauty is about a very special gorilla living in a zoo.
It begins – “Once upon a time there was a very special gorilla who had been taught to use a sign language.”
Because he knew sign language he could “talk” to the keepers and ask them for things that he wanted or needed. And he had almost everything he wanted and needed. Except a friend, and he was sad and lonely.
I can do that face too —
But finally one of them came up with a great idea. They got the gorilla a kitten named Beauty. The gorilla loved Beauty, and they became BEST friends. They did everything together, and were happy for a long time.
But one day they watched a movie together. King Kong. And the movie upset the gorilla. So much so that he got angry and smashed the TV! The keepers rushed in to see what had happened. They said “Who broke the television?” and ” Now we have to take Beauty away.” Oh, No! But then Beauty, the kitten, started to sign! She said “It was ME!!!!” This made the keepers laugh and they decided to let Beauty stay and the kitten and the gorilla lived happily ever after.
One reason that I like Mr Browne’s books is because the illustrations are so rich and full of detail. This book is a little different – there are some pictures that are just black and white sketches. Kind of unfinished. That made me stop and think about why he would do that. I’m not sure, but I think it may have something to do with the two characters being happy? Anyway, it kind of caught me off guard and made for an interesting bit to think about.
Now, this story may sound familiar to some of you — I recently did a review of a NON-fiction book about this very friendship. Koko’s Kitten. Koko is a REAL gorilla who uses sign language. And Koko got her very own kitten that she loved. This is one reason that I was so excited about this book, Little Beauty. The two books go together nicely.
For more information about gorillas and gorilla research visit the Gorilla Foundation HERE.
Anthony Browne was the Children’s Laureate from 2009-2011. For more about Mr Browne and for some teacher resources and information about some of his projects visit HERE.
And for more about unusual animal friendships you might check out this book –
Unlikely Friendships, by Jennifer S. Holland. As the cover says, this is a collection of stories and pictures of “Unlikely friendships” between different animal species. Stories and pictures with big AAAHHHH! factor.
I have a couple of videos of Mr Browne talking about this book Little Beauty that you might find interesting –
Now you must visit Susanna Hill’s Blog and see more Perfect Picture Books along with some great resources.
I wish you a Joyful weekend full of friends and good times