Beth 's Reviews > Koko's Kitten

Koko's Kitten by Francine Patterson
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's review
Sep 08, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: animals

Koko is a gorilla; her kitten was “All Ball.” This is a true story, written for children. Who couldn’t love it?

Back in the 1970s Koko was born and soon thereafter was taught sign language. Yes, she really could speak with her keepers in this way. So, when they asked her what she wanted, she told them, “Cat.” They got her a tiny gray, tailless kitten.

The story of KOKO’s KITTEN by Francine Patterson tells of Koko’s early life and how she came to learn sign language. Then we learn about her request for a cat and her anger when her keepers gave her a pretend cat covered in velvet. Then we read about her gentleness and motherliness when she was given her real kitten. Koko chose the kitten, and Koko named him “All Ball.”

Throughout this children’s book are photographs, not just illustrations, by Ronald H. Cohn. This is what made me want to read the book. I loved it.

Koko is still alive, 40 years old, at the San Francisco Zoo. I wish I knew her story when I lived in southern California in the 1980s through 2005. I would have made the 3-hour drive to San Francisco just to see her. Maybe I’ll still get there before she dies. In the meantime, I can read the book for adults, THE EDUCATION OF KOKO.
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