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Good Night, Gorilla

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  29,133 ratings  ·  581 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-ni
...more
Board Book, 34 pages
Published February 21st 1996 by Putnam Juvenile (first published January 1st 1994)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Chak
Jun 13, 2008 Chak rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
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jenna
Apr 09, 2008 jenna rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
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Kathryn
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.
midnightfaerie
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.
Finn Pennekamp
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
Peacegal
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
...more
Andrea
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
Tracy
(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).
Britt Guild
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
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Sylvester
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.


Doug
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
...more
Darren Shoneye
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
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Candice
Dec 26, 2011 Candice rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
Laura
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
...more
Jean O'Shea
Oct 05, 2008 Jean O'Shea rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
"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
...more
Cindy Sa
Good Night, Gorilla
In this book, there is a cute monkey called Gorilla. He is a smart monkey. Each night, the zoo manger always likes to say good night to each animal. He always says the first good night to Gorilla. The clever Gorilla gets the zoo manger’s key and follows the zoo manger to let the animals get out. All of animals follow with the zoo manger to zoo manger’s home to have the sleep. But when the light turn off, all animals say good night to zoo manger. Zoo manger find them. Thus, zoo
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Jenifer Ashby
Text-Self
This story reminds me of when I worked at the animal shelter and when I would leave i would do exactly what the zookeeper did in this book and say goodnight to the animals before I left the building. I can relate to some of the animals for the fact that sometimes with life I do feel trapped and you want to be free. This story reminds me that no matter what happens there is someone who cares and will always be the "zookeeper" for you.

Text-text
This story reminds me of Sick day for Amos Mc
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Lisa
Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann is a book I never read before, but now after reading it I think it’s a cute bedtime story for any young child who enjoys zoo animals, especially gorillas. It’s about this zookeeper who is at the zoo saying goodnight to all of the animals, but what he doesn’t know is that the gorilla got a hold of his keys and is following him step by step letting all of the animals out of their cages. All of the animals end up following the zookeeper back to his house for a ...more
Erick Escalera
The Zookeeper goes around and says “goodnight” to all the zoo animals. But Gorilla managed to snatch the Zookeeper's keys and release all the animals. While all the animals are set free they follow the Zookeeper home and give him and his wife quite a surprise. The author was able to incorporate all types of animals into the story. Giraffe, Elephant, Hyena, and others were all set free by Gorilla. Readers are able to see the story happen through the illustrations that are similar to a wordless p ...more
Brenna
Good Night Gorilla is one of the perfect bedtime story that can proudly sit up there on the shelf next to The Napping House. Although not a technical “wordless” picture book it uses some of the same elements and characteristics like using the illustrations to tell the story.

The sneaky gorilla steals the zoo keeper’s keys as he locks up for the night. Along the way he unlocks the enclosures for the other animals and they follow him home and try to curl up in bed. I really enjoyed the page after a
...more
Krysta Jenkins
"Good Night, Gorilla" is a humorous story that show cases patience and kindness. The zoo keepers wife is patient and kind enough to gather the zoo animals and bring them back to the zoo. Even though the zoon keeper's wife was not the one who brought the zoo animals home, she was kind enough to bring the zoo animals home. The zoo keepers green uniform was a good choice of color, because the color symbolizes something calm and natural, rather than having a zoo keeper in a red uniform that would ma ...more
Angie
Synopsis: " 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 romp."


My Review: I don't know why I put off buying and reading this one for so long, especially since there is
...more
Rita Webb
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.
Jem
I couldn't follow the plot. Probably because the colors were all dark and not bright. Plus there weren't many words. I'm really a visual and auditory reader.

Merged review:

Decent. Pictures are pretty good but I need a bit more verbalization of what is happening at this moment..maybe in a few months this will grow on me.
Theresa Womack
When first picking up the book Good Night Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann, the first thing I noticed was the colors on the cover. From the size of the books horizontal shape I am assuming that the book is going to be able animals. The colors are dark to show the reader that the story will be happening at night. When looking at the end pages you can tell that the Gorilla is going to be mischievous. When opening the book and reading the pages you can tell that all the pages are bordered. The bright colo ...more
Cheryl
I just read the board book version. Perfect way to publish it, because a toddler will want to, and be able to, read it to herself over and over again, whether or not she has washed her hands. I'm so sad my children didn't know this book when they were little - they'd have loved it.
Virginia
The pictures are engaging and tell more of the story than the actual words. Visually funny, too. My son likes it.

ETA: I changed from 3 to 5 stars because my 2 yo daughter would read this book nonstop, often falling asleep with it in her chubby little hands.
Kevin Salazar
I find this book hilarious. I would read this book to second graders because it is non realistic, they would not believe that those kinds of things happen. Kids that age love animals and love going to the zoo. So to read them a book about animals being silly and leaving the zoo to sleep at the zookeepers house is hilarious. It starts being funny as soon as the zookeeper says goodnight to each of the animals, the animals leave their spot in the zoo and follow the zookeeper home. The funniest part ...more
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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
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