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One Gorilla

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  737 Ratings  ·  176 Reviews
Primo primate artist Anthony Browne is at the top of his form with a simple — and simply fascinating — array of creatures for kids to count.

What better attention-getter for small children than primates in all their variety? And who better to render them than Anthony Browne? In this elegant counting book, the author-illustrator outdoes himself with a vivid presentation of p
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published February 12th 2013 by Candlewick Press (first published September 28th 2012)
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Anthony Browne's One Gorilla is simply and beautifully a basic number and counting book, featuring the digits one to ten, and text-wise, not much else. However, for young children just learning their numbers, this truly is a superb introduction to the same, with the added benefit of showing that all primates, including us humans, are related, are of one family. Of course, that one small bit, might also, unfortunately, make One Gorilla rather unacceptable for parents who are strongly anti-evoluti ...more
Jul 21, 2014 rated it it was ok
Count the primates, 1 to 10!
I loved the beautiful artwork of the different types of monkeys.
However, the ending of this book knocked it from 4 stars to 2. (view spoiler)
Jul 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
My sixteen-month-old son got excited about One Gorilla the minute I pulled it out of the library bag. So, we've already read that one ;-) A few times, in fact. He loves animals and animal books, and I think he's especially captivated by the eyes on all the primates in this book; or maybe I'm just projecting because that's what really struck me. So expressive! I really appreciated the expressions and personalities that Browne gave to each primate. I think my favorites are the gibbons with such a ...more
I liked the counting...but I didn't like the end. My coworker suggested I just skip reading the last two pages next time...
One Gorilla: A Counting Book is one of those books that appears so simple, yet is truly outstanding in so many ways. First, the illustrations are beautifully stunning and lifelike, and each primate’s expression is unique and individual. Second, as a counting book the layout really encourages this learning aspect with its large, bold, colored numbers, bright white backgrounds, and placement of the primates in ways that make it easier to count them, such as in rows (most are this way). Third, I re ...more
Feb 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: animals, numbers
Gorgeous illustrations : very bold and emotive. Although, the full grown man's face at the end for the message twist felt out of place for me. Perhaps using a child would have been better for me.
This was another I picked up at the library to beef up my lagging reading goal. So glad I did!

The artwork grabbed me even before I lifted it off the shelf. It reminds me of Eric Carle's illustrations. Maybe a little more detailed?

I had to laugh out loud as I was selecting the tags for this book. You see I read the pictures, the names of the animals and oooo the pictures. In tagging I realized: THIS IS A COUNTING BOOK!

A teacher or parent could have loads of fun presenting new information each t
Sep 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
A beautifully illustrated counting book with a surprise message to end on! Each number corresponds to a different primate and, as the end of the book suggests, although there are differences between them, they are all part of the same family. With beautiful and visually bright illustrations, this is a wonderful demonstration of successful celebration of diversity! Perfect for any age.
Shannon Connors
Sep 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
At first glance, Anthony Browne’s One Gorilla: A Counting Book seems like a simple number-learning aid for small children. However, upon closer examination, the reader can see that Browne uses size and perspective to introduce a theme of the similarities that exist between different people all part of the same humanity.

On each opening, simple text on the left side of the spread says a number and the type of monkey depicted. Though all monkeys on the spread on the same species, Browne shows diffe
Aug 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Our girls have grown out of reading counting books, so without a sarcastic or humorous storyline (like Musk Ox Counts or Count the Monkeys), they are a bit offended by the babyish nature of the story.

So before we read our stories tonight, I prefaced each book by saying that I was reading the book for my book club and I wanted them to appreciate the book for the illustrations, if nothing else. That advice certainly worked well for this book.

With mostly white backgrounds, big bold fonts, and litt
Aiyana Martinez
Feb 10, 2015 rated it liked it
This amazing counting book brings you in with its unique title, One Gorilla. As I started reading this book, I figured it was going to be a regular counting book, just with a different theme. Turns put it teaches you more than counting. It brings you in learning about one gorilla, two orangutans, 3 chimpanzees.. and etc. Soon enough it gets to showing you all types of monkeys around the world with one meaning, One family. It teaches you that everyone around the world, despite their color of skin ...more
Keshia Smith
Sep 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Anthony Browne’s One Gorilla is an excellent read for young children looking to expand their vocabulary through counting. One Gorilla is a counting book however, the book uses a variety of different primates as it subject for counting. This book will not only help younger readers from 3 upwards to continue number recognition through sequential counting, it will also provide a challenge for a more advanced younger reader as it will allow them to learn new vocabulary. The illustrations within the ...more
Jan 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Anthony Browne MAY be one of my favorite children's book illustrators. His illustrations are large format, and yet very detailed, with lots of color. Realistic, and yet friendly-seeming.

This is one of the better counting books I've seen in awhile. The expressions on the faces of the apes and monkeys are very pleasant while remaining pretty realistic (a bit smilier than in nature). Pictures are large and vivid. The numerals and type are also very large, which makes it very easy to share in a gro
May 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Beautifully rendered color drawings of primates, each looking like an individual--though it would have been better if some of the beings depicted were in more lively positions. I was particularly caught by the very humanlike expression in their eyes. Which is appropriate, considering how Browne ends the book. Let's just say I don't envision this picture book being bought by fundamentalist-Christian preschools...
Feb 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebooks
The mixed media paintings are absolutely stunning, and large enough to use successfully with a group. Text is super simple, just a number and the name of the primate on each double-page spread. I don't agree that humans are in the same "family" as apes and monkeys, but this is a minor point. Otherwise, the book is pretty fabulous.
Love the illustrations of the different primates. Really wonderful pictures. This is a perfect book for young children, and even older children and adults can appreciate the artwork. However, I wished there was more text, text that gave more information about each primate...even if in the form of footnotes or an author's note. It would have made it more enjoyable for my older children.
Feb 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humane-education
This is a wonderful, vibrant book that emphasizes that we are all primates. This would be a great conversation starter about our primate family -- the ways in which primates are similar and different, and our inter-connectedness with the rest of the world.
Kirsty Cabot
first read to Ivy 16/11/16

Capitalising on Ivy's love of Gorillas and the way she bangs her chest whenever she sees one!
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
Gorgeous! Simply gorgeous! And perfectly done.
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Cannot fault this simple but amazing picture book. Perfect for the early years with easy counting to 10 and fantastic illustration throughout there is so much to see and do with this book. Not just simply counting but looking at groups, families and all being a unit it has a powerful message about unity. The last page holds so much meaning and could be used to discuss a whole remit of things. A must have in schools!
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
The illustrations in this book are lovely and incredibly detailed. This would be great for kids who love monkeys and apes! The end felt a little forced and awkward, but I like the idea of introducing kids to evolution early. The way it's presented will hopefully lead them to ask questions and learn more.
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
Beautifully illustrated. AB's obsession with primates continues. Hasn't he perfected the art of painting monkeys! He introduces different types of monkey. At the end a self-portrait saying all these monkeys are part of my family and then part of all our family. Lovely inclusive picture at the end of people from different ethnic backgrounds.
Ally Lindley
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
I personally thought this book was good until I reached the end. I don't like that it brings up questions of evolution because I feel like children have a right to make choices about what they believe, but I feel as though the age group who would read this are too young to have this idea impressed on them.
Kate Sanders
This book is beautiful when it comes to the illustrations. The pictures look very realistic. This book is also meant for a young reader to help them count. My issue with this book is that it suggests humans evolved from primates. Those who are religious would not appreciate this book either.
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
Whut. Was not expecting the Kumbaya conclusion. It felt kind of just dumped on there, too... Gorgeous illustrations, though :/
Amazing illustrations. Not ideal for story time, though...
Heather Tyminski
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kid-lit
A wonderful counting book for babies and toddlers! It's an especially good book to bring to the zoo to compare the illustrations to the live animals.
Grace Gayer
Sep 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
A lovely story about the differences between everyone....yet how we are all the same!
Olivia Tosti
Sep 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A beautifully illustrated counting book! Clear pictures and numbers to help children learn how to count and recognise numbers.
Jun 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My child gives this a 5 (I would say 3). Counting book focused on the primates... pages with just the number and accompanying pictures, until the last 2 pages. We only read once.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Anthony Browne, a Hans Christian Andersen Medalist, is the author-illustrator of many acclaimed books for children, including SILLY BILLY and LITTLE BEAUTY. He lives in Kent, England.
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