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Little Beauty Hardcover – September 23, 2008


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Little Beauty + One Gorilla: A Counting Book
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (September 23, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763639591
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763639594
  • Product Dimensions: 12.1 x 10.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #693,663 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. PreSchool-Grade 3—This reworking of the classic tale of a beast transformed by unconditional love depicts the protagonist as a lumbering gorilla and Beauty as a petite cat. A red rose on the title page hints at what's to come. But wait! Alert readers will recognize this relationship, these very poses: here are Hanabi-Ko and All Ball from the real-life story of the sensitive, signing gorilla described by Francine Patterson in Koko's Kitten (Scholastic, 1985). Browne melds fact and fiction into a story that reads simply, but offers layers. Luscious, creamy pages provide contrast for the large, well-spaced font and the dark, furry figure that often bleeds off the page. Watercolor and pencil renderings capture the animal in moments of profound loneliness and extreme anger; he reacts to King Kong by smashing the TV in a page red with rage. Zookeepers fear for Beauty's safety, but her surprising intervention saves the day. Children will chuckle as they view the pair doing everything together, from using the bathroom to swinging from the lamp, like the mythical figure flying too close to the sun. (Bruegel's Fall of Icarus hangs in the background.) Browne's exquisite interpretation of a real-life gorilla is a welcome progression.—Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* As in Willy and Hugh (1991) and many other animal fantasies, Browne once again tells a picture-book story with exquisitely detailed art that blends magic and realism. Full-page pictures in pencil and watercolor show a gorilla seated in a floral armchair watching TV with his mug of tea and a hamburger. The ape’s human keepers have taught him sign language, and when he signs that he is lonely, they give him a small white kitten. He names her Beauty, and the two bond in bliss. He holds her in the palm of his hand and feeds her milk and honey. The cover shows Beauty perched on the gorilla’s head, and one delightful spread shows him on the toilet, her using the litter box (“They did everything together.”). Then, in a fury after seeing a King Kong movie on TV, the gorilla smashes the set. The keepers come to take Beauty away after the outburst, but when Beauty signs that she broke the TV, everyone laughs at her improbable claim, the mood lightens, and the friends live happily ever after. With the beautiful close-up views of each hair on the gorilla’s furry body, his gentle eyes and soft hands, and then the sudden uncontrollable anger that all kids fear—in themselves and others—this is the stuff of “Beauty and the Beast,” as terrifying as it is tender. Preschool-Grade 3. --Hazel Rochman

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Customer Reviews

The pictures are beautiful.
Mumztheword
We were surprised at how short the story was, and so I tried to explain the lesson of the book to her.
Tara McGarrigle
My 5 year old loves this book.
Janie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By inky cloak on June 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is beautifully illustrated. It has a wonderful, engaging beginning and then takes a sudden turn and spirals downward. It almost seems as if it were written by two different people. In short, there's an adorable gorilla who is given a sweet kitten as a friend. They are best buddies-- they do everything together, even sit side-by-side in their respective potties together! Until suddenly, this gorilla becomes furious (turns red and scary) while watching a scene from King Kong and smashes the television. His keepers respond by threatening to take his kitten away. The kitten tells the keepers that he was the one who smashed the tv, not the gorilla. The kitten covers for his buddy by lying, and therefore gets to stay with the gorilla, The End. One word describes this books derailment: bizarre. It has few words and is clearly geared toward a younger audience. While I don't believe all books for children have to have a moral, they should at least be entertaining and fun. This story sends the wrong signals and ends abruptly and awkwardly.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Few can resist the art of Anthony Browne. His name on the cover guarantees sales to a multitude of parents, grandparents and doting aunts and uncles. His art is often times larger than life as is his skill in blending watercolors with stories that not only appeal to children but also often reflect feelings familiar to them.

Little Beauty is the charming story of a very unlikely friendship between a gorilla and a very small kitten named Beauty. The gorilla was extraordinary because he had been taught to use a sign language, thus he was able to tell his keepers what he wanted. He seemed to be quite comfortable with accouterment that other gorillas might only dream about. Nonetheless, he was very sad.

His keepers were puzzled until one day he signed to them, "I want a friend." They wondered what could be done as there were no other gorillas at the zoo. So, they gave him Beauty saying, "Don't Eat Her." Well, the gorilla loved Beauty, and this is the story of their friendship , as well as an excellent opportunity for youngsters to be reminded of the meaning of loyalty, protection, and love.

- Gail Cooke
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By F. Rosa on February 16, 2013
Verified Purchase
This book has touched the hearts of so many people I know, kids and adults alike. I really don't understand the bad reviews about it. It talks about having a friend that understands you and you can always count on. :)
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mumztheword on October 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
My 5-year-old and 4-year-old love this book -- it's laugh out loud funny every time we read it (I won't give it away here, but bathroom humor is always good for a laugh). The pictures are beautiful. I would highly recommend this book -- I'm thinking of reading it to my son's Kindergarten class when I'm the visiting reader.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Janie on April 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
My 5 year old loves this book. I enjoy reading it to her. I have both books about Koko the signing gorilla. I read them to my daughter, they were both a little too wordy. They will definetly be a hit when she is a little older. For now Little Beauty is a wonderful lesson in love and friendship. The illustrations are great and we always turn the last page with a smile!
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This is a great book!! my three-year old daughter loves it; it is definitely one of her favorite, if not the most favorite book. I bought it for her last summer and she still wants to read it every night! the illustrations are so beautiful. Highly recommended.
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Verified Purchase
My daughter absolutely loves this book. We used to read it every night, for over two months- I have it memorized. I agree with some of the other reviews that mention the ending. It is a little odd, but the cat yelling "It was ME!...." is her favorite part.
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By Roz on May 1, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My 5 year old great-granddaughter likes me to read this to her whenever she comes to visit. It is Beautifully illustrated.
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