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Good Night, Gorilla Board book – February 21, 1996
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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More About the Author
""In the summer we lolled in plastic wading pools guzzling Kool-Aid. In the winter we sculpted giant snow animals. It was a good life.""
Ms. Rathmann graduated from Mounds View High School in New Brighton, Minnesota, then attended colleges everywhere, changing her major repeatedly. She eventually earned a B.A. in psychology from the University of Minnesota.
""I wanted to teach sign language to gorillas, but after taking a class in signing, I realized what I'd rather do was draw pictures of gorillas.""
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.
""I spent the first three weeks of my writing class at Otis Parsons filching characters from my classmates' stories. Finally, the teacher convinced me that even a beginning writer can create an original character if the character is driven by the writer's most secret weirdness. Eureka! A little girl with a passion for plagiarism! I didn't want anyone to know it was me, so I made the character look like my sister.""
The resulting book, Ruby the Copycat, earned Ms. Rathmann the ""Most Promising New Author"" distinction in Publishers Weekly's 1991 annual Cuffie Awards. In 1992 she illustrated Bootsie Barker Bites for Barbara Bottner, her teacher at Otis Parsons.
A homework assignment produced an almost wordless story, Good Night, Gorilla, inspired by a childhood memory.
""When I was little, the highlight of the summer was running barefoot through the grass, in the dark, screaming. We played kick-the-can, and three-times-around-the-house, and sometimes we just stood staring into other people's picture windows, wondering what it would be like to go home to someone else's house.""
That story, however, was only nineteen pages long, and everyone agreed that the ending was a dud. Two years and ten endings later, Good Night, Gorilla was published and recognized as an ALA Notable Children's Book for 1994.
The recipient of the 1996 Caldecott Medal, Officer Buckle and Gloria, is the story of a school safety officer upstaged by his canine partner.
""We have a videotape of my mother chatting in the dining room while, unnoticed by her or the cameraman, the dog is licking every poached egg on the buffet. The next scene shows the whole family at the breakfast table, complimenting my mother on the delicious poached eggs. The dog, of course, is pretending not to know what a poached egg is. The first time we watched that tape we were so shocked, we couldn't stop laughing. I suspect that videotape had a big influence on my choice of subject matter.""
Ms. Rathmann lives and works in San Francisco, in an apartment she shares with her husband, John Wick, and a very funny bunch of ants.
Top Customer Reviews
Our young hero steals the keys from a zookeeper and frees all the animals, who follow the keeper home at night. Hilarious "lights out" confusion ensues with a comical surprise ending!
34 pages, with only ten different words, the expressive, colorful pictures say it all. This playful book is appropriate for infants, toddlers, and the beginning reader as well. A delightful romp, and a surefire hit! One of those few treasured books that you'll keep for years to come.
The pictures are terrific, with a lot going on in the background. There's a little mouse toting the gorilla's banana, each animal's cage has a toy, and, of course, the zookeeper's wife's surprise and familiarity with the animals following him home.
My daughter's definitely picked up some rather complex animal names (e.g., giraffe, armadillo) and picked up on the gorilla's shenanigans pretty quickly.
Very fun book.
"Good Night, Gorilla," is simply a charming little tale, where the drawings communicate much more than the dialogue. I want to think of the art as being a cross between watercolors and pastels, but then what do I know about art? What I love best is to find the mouse with the banana on the string in each picture, and I bet your children will love that too when they discover it on their own.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A classic. My girls, now 4 and 6, have enjoyed this book for many years. It is witty, short enough for a quick bedtime story, and great for early readers, too.Published 16 hours ago by Kelly Soltys
A true classic! There aren't many words in the book, but few words are needed. This makes it a nice, easy story to read at night, and we narrate the book as needed. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Susan Gilmore
Have read this book to both my children. Its a tradition to read to them before bed and the colors and pictures in this book keep them engaged and has helped them develop and... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Corey
We LOVE this book and originally received a hardcover book with paper pages from family. We decided to order a second copy so as to avert bedtime meltdowns when we couldn't find... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Darrick Peters
I hate to be the contrarian but I think this book is pretty boring. Of all of the books we received for my child in his first 2 years, this one gets the least use.Published 4 days ago by T Will
Cute book that keeps a kid's attention. Great for animal recognition. Would be fun to read before/after a trip to the Zoo.Published 5 days ago by Father of One
My toddler's favorite book. Very few words, so you can add your own fun.Published 6 days ago by Amazon Customer
This is a fun picture book for kids. It is a book about a gorilla that takes the zookeepers keys, gets out of his cage and then proceeds to let other animals out of their cages. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Mary Ann Cole