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Good Night, Gorilla

4.19  ·  Rating Details  ·  35,109 Ratings  ·  718 Reviews
A must-have board book for all babies.

Good night, Gorilla.
Good night, Elephant.

It's bedtime at the zoo, and all the animals are going to sleep. Or are they? Who's that short, furry guy with the key in his hand and the mischievous grin?

Good night, Giraffe.
Good night, Hyena.

Sneak along behind the zookeeper's back, and see who gets the last laugh in this riotous good-night
Board Book, 32 pages
Published February 21st 1996 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers (first published 1994)
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Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakThe Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric CarleThe Giving Tree by Shel SilversteinGreen Eggs and Ham by Dr. SeussGoodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Best Children's Books
155th out of 3,654 books — 5,323 voters
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingCharlotte's Web by E.B. WhiteThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisWhere the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakCharlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
100 Children's Books to Read in a Lifetime
159th out of 1,584 books — 1,694 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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May 22, 2016 Andrea rated it it was amazing
Shelves: board-books
Well, after reading this book literally every night (and by literally here I mean literally in the old true sense, i.e. every single night) for a year, I will say that GOOD NIGHT, GORILLA holds up. The message of solidarity and collective action in the service of dismantling the zoo-industrial complex is a timeless one (or, rather, a deeply timely one). I find the moment where all the animals, during their occupation of the zookeepers' residence, kindly bid goodnight to their oppressors, to be a ...more
Jun 13, 2008 Chak rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: new parents
Recommended to Chak by: Pam
Shelves: kid
Good Night, Gorilla is the quintessential "first book" for very young children (6 months through to approximately 3 years). It has very few words (only "good," "night," "gorilla," "dear," "zoo" and the names of the five other animals in the book)and is brief.

Even read as merely a story, the book is engaging for a very young child, thanks to the bright colors, silly story line and playful illustrations. Where the book really shines however, is in all that you can do with it. You can start asking
Apr 26, 2016 Sylvia rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
GOOD NIGHT GORILLA is a charming and very funny book. The story begins when a zookeeper says "Good night, Gorilla” assuming that the gorilla is in its cage. The gorilla takes the keys of the zookeeper’s pants. Then, the zookeeper repeats the same phrase to the other animals, "Good night Elephant... Good night Giraffe, Good night Lion ...” However, he does not realize that behind him all the animals are following him. The gorilla, the mouse, the elephant, the giraffe, the lion and the hyena come ...more
Hmm, I’m a bit torn on this book. Good Night, Gorilla begins with a zookeeper locking up for the night. The problem is the zoo, which is populated by the cell-like iron-barred cages that went out with Victorian menageries. Gorilla, a highly social creature, is caged all alone. And though the zookeeper is a kindly, chummy sort, the parallels between his locking of the cages and a prison warden’s nightly rounds are rather obvious.

If that were the gist of the story, my ratings would definitely be l
Apr 09, 2008 jenna rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: little chickens
Shelves: quinlan
Q LOVES this book! Why? I don't really know. But we must read it over and over. If we start a different book, she'll tolerate that for a bit, but then... she starts pointing to Good Night, Gorilla... "that! that!" It's the first book we read in the morning, and the last book we read before bedtime.

It is an awfully cute board book, and I appreciate the stereotype of the zookeeper's wife as the person who really gets things done. On a side note, how can anyone resist a book with a secondary plot l
Jan 12, 2011 Tracy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(Age 1) I loved this book even before Asher did. It has a really cute, funny premise, and almost no text. Asher really enjoyed the part when all the animals say "good night" and I really enjoyed the nice little visual touches (like looking for the balloon float away on each page, the toys in the animal cages, the people in the window watching the animals march across the yard).
May 20, 2011 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-my-boys
This is an excellent early reader book, mainly to teach some basic animal names. The story is adorable and that is not a word I tend to use. I love reading it aloud and so far no one in my house is sick of hearing it. If I am ever looking for a gift for a 1-3 year old, then this book will be at the top of the list.
Linda Robinson
May 07, 2015 Linda Robinson rated it it was amazing
More like viewed. There are few words in this picture book, which works for a 3-year old great-nephews who like to make up stories. On a trip to my favorite indie bookstore for his birthday, I was going to collect favorites I got for his mother when she was little. Owl Babies. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. The indie owner got excited, and asked if he could make a recommendation. It was Good Night, Gorilla. I loved it right there in the store. Charming drawings, a moon on most pages (perhaps a clear c ...more
Finn Pennekamp
Jan 13, 2012 Finn Pennekamp rated it really liked it
Dad and I read this book yesterday, and we both loved it. Dad liked it because it was about a very smart monkey who lets all the animals out of their cages at the zoo. Because, as my Dad says, wild animals should not be kept in zoos. Mom disagrees. But Dad is right. Obviously. Anyway, this gorilla frees all of his friends, and they all sneak back to the zookeeper's house, and sleep in his warm bedroom... until the Zookeeper's wife hears them all say goodnight and leads them back to the cages. Bu ...more
Rita Webb
Jun 18, 2009 Rita Webb rated it it was amazing
My kids love this book. Not a whole lot of words, but the pictures tell a story. It gives you lots of opportunity to talk with your kids about what is going on.

"What is that monkey doing?" I'll say. They'll giggle.

I like books that have less words for my younger kids and gives me more opportunity to get them to interact with the story.
Britt Guild
Mar 25, 2014 Britt Guild rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
I attribute my preschooler's knowledge of book concepts and her desire to read from reading this book together. I love the illustrations and the funny conversation the zoo keeper and zoo keepers wife have with the animals. My daughter loves how the gorilla and mouse sneak back into the house together. It's a fun read that sparks a love of the reading process.

I would use this book in the preschool or kindergarten level to emphasize book concepts and give students the opportunity to pretend read a
Jun 19, 2013 midnightfaerie rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
I didn't think this was all that original, however, my children really seemed to enjoy it. Few words, but an interesting story that's fun to follow, the pictures were a great addition to the plot. I think we'd read it again.
Jun 02, 2015 Hilary rated it really liked it
Shelves: baby-toddler
Wasn't as big a hit as "Goodnight, Moon" but still loved it for the silliness and for watching the gorilla.

Edited: second child loves it, especially pointing out the mouse.
Sep 09, 2014 Sylvester rated it it was amazing
5* art
5* story
5* fun

So endearing and cozy and wonderful - a favorite favorite. I hope to be reading this over and over in the next few years.

At first I began breezing through this one enjoying all of the amazing colors and just skimming through the animals the zookeeper was passing. But then I had to backtrack and notice all of the little things:
-most of the animals have toy animals of themselves--except for the armadillo who had a little Ernie. I loved that the elephant's was Babar! Way to incorporate more literature.
-the mouse dragging the banana, which eventually gets eaten
-what animal was where so you knew which "Good night" spee
May 03, 2013 Doug rated it it was amazing
This was one of my favorites when F was little. Maybe my favorite. The palate is different than every one of her picture books - it's soothing and refreshing. A lot of deep blues. It is simple enough for a baby/toddler to enjoy, but as you read it, you discover more and more fun details. One example - a helium balloon is released early on, and you (or your child) can then find it on every page afterwards, as it floats to the sky.

THere aren't a lot of words, but every word is interesting to a ba
Darren Shoneye
Feb 09, 2013 Darren Shoneye rated it it was amazing
The zookeeper locks up the zoo and says goodnight to the animals, but he doesn’t realise that the Gorilla has taken his keys, and that the gorilla starts to set the other animals free. You need to get the children to look at the pictures to make sense of what is going on, and the great illustrations make it fairly easy for them to assimilate what is happening. I will keep this review simple and concise, just like the book itself. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it because I wanted to know what was ...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
A friend at work recommended some picture books to me recently; she has a background in speech pathology and gets these books for her own nieces and nephews and the kids of friends, and they've loved them. Most of them I hadn't hear of - I'm not sure about this one, sometimes it seems really familiar to me and other times I don't think I know it at all.

It's told mostly in pictures, the text consisting of, largely, the zookeeper saying good night to the various animals. It's very cute - the goril
Oct 22, 2015 Donna rated it it was amazing
The zookeeper says 'goodnight' to the gorilla who grabs the keys and lets all the animals out as they go along. They all go to sleep in the zookeeper's room, with the gorilla in the bed. Zookeeper wife wakes up and returns all the animals to their places, except the gorilla who sneaks back in the same way and climbs in the end of the bed again.
The pictures and story are delightful. Simple text without rhyme. This is another I will read over and over to grandchildren. For 2 years and up.
Dec 26, 2011 Candice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sophie
Shelves: picture-books
Not many words and terrific, colorful illustrations make this appealing to even very young children. As the zookeeper locks up for the night, he tells each of the animals Good Night. When he passes the gorilla's cage, the gorilla reaches out and steals his keys. As the zookeeper passes each successive cage, the gorilla follows right behind, unlocking each one. Soon the zookeeper has a parade of animals behind him. They follow him into his house, and we see them settling down to sleep in his bedr ...more
Sep 29, 2011 Laura rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-own-library
The story itself is a little bit disturbing. I tried telling one of my friends how my son loves this book about a gorilla that follows the zookeeper around letting all the animals out and eventually ends up in the zookeeper's bed, and she was so creeped out that I had to get the book to show her that there wasn't anything truly scary in it.

In fact, the illustrations are downright cute, from the Babar doll in the elephant's cage to the picture of the gorilla with the zookeeper and his wife on t
Kristín Vilhjálmsdóttir
Apr 16, 2015 Kristín Vilhjálmsdóttir rated it it was amazing
I am not entirely sure how this book came into my household, as the copy I've got is published in 1994 - it must be second hand. Recently rediscovered it with my youngest son. It is delightfully simple, with very little text, but the drawings tell the story, giving the parent plenty of things to point out and discuss with the wee one. Full marks.
Oct 10, 2015 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: elijah
This book is a tremendous example of how illustrations truly help tell the story in books for this age group. It isn't so much about reading along with the words, but seeing the story line develop on the pages. I laughed out loud multiple times!
Jean O'Shea
Oct 05, 2008 Jean O'Shea rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Parents, Teachers, Wobblers/Toddlers
Shelves: lis565
This is an especially fun after hour’s trip to the zoo for the toddler set. Colorful pastel illustrations and playful details supported by repetitive text make for a lively bedtime story. I know, contradiction you may say, but it is a great book to share as your family prepares for slumber. After just a few reads, wobblers and toddlers will recognize the pattern and bid each animal, name, “Sweet dreams”. Each time I pick it up, I find something new...the character Babar in the elephant cage, the ...more
Iqra Jabbar
Oct 11, 2013 Iqra Jabbar rated it really liked it
"Good Night, Gorilla," is simply a charming little tale, where the drawings communicate much more than the dialogue.
It is gentle, fun, with excellent pictures and a positive message. The expressions on the characters' faces are easy for little ones to interpret; the story is straightforward but allows parents (and kids) to improvise, making every reading a brand new one.
The zookeeper goes round locking up the animals at night, the gorilla steals his keys and lets the animals out. They follow th
May 01, 2015 Sarai rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: friends
Recommended to Sarai by: none
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laurel Decher
Apr 08, 2016 Laurel Decher rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
I must have read this book 100 times to my little ones.
Andrea Pakulski
Jul 12, 2015 Andrea Pakulski rated it it was amazing
My 3 year old reads this to me. So sweet.
Kayla Ross
Title: Good Night, Gorilla
Author: Peggy Rathmann
Illustrator: Peggy Rathmann
Genre: Early Reader
Theme(s): Animal names
Opening line/sentence: “Good night, Gorilla. Good night, Elephant.”
Brief Book Summary: This sister story to Good Night, Moon shows the antics of a sneaky gorilla who steals the watchman’s keys and unlocks the cages of the animals in the rest of the zoo and they follow the watchman to bed with his wife. Once his wife realizes her room is filled with animals, she returns them to th
Kelly Kline
1. What is the book about?
The book is about a monkey who steals a zoo keeper's keys. As the zoo keeper is saying goodnight to all the animals, the monkey is letting out all the other animals in the zoo. When the zoo keeper is walking back to his home to animals follow him inside and sleep in his bed. When the zoo keeper's wife finds out there are animals in her bed she takes all of them back to their cages in the zoo. However, the monkey still escapes and lets himself back into the house to slee
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Caldecott-medalist Margaret Crosby "Peggy" Rathmann was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, and grew up in the suburbs with two brothers and two sisters. Ms. Rathmann studied commercial art at the American Academy in Chicago, fine art at the Atelier Lack in Minneapolis, and children's-book writing and illustration at the Otis Parsons School of Design in Los Angeles. She currently lives and works in Nicas ...more
More about Peggy Rathmann...

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