Peacegal's Reviews > Good Night, Gorilla

Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
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Mar 25, 2011

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Read in March, 2011

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 low. But then, the ball gets rolling when clever Gorilla swipes the keeper’s key ring and frees all of his buddies. The animals tiptoe behind the keeper and right into his house, where they proceed to bed down and make themselves at home. The exasperated keeper rounds up all of his charges and returns them to the zoo, but as the story closes, we see Gorilla has swiped the key again!

So. We have a subpar zoo, but we also have animals who wish to escape the concrete-and-steel environment and visit a place a bit more comfortable. A thought: Maybe brainstorm with the youngsters on ways the zookeeper could make the animals more comfortable so they don’t want to run away every night. (Such as giving the animals bigger enclosures complete with trees, ponds, and other natural amenities.)

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05/02/2016 marked as: read

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