Children's Book Reviews

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Awesome Animals

There are some animals that stick awe in me, and gorillas are one of them. I've only ever seen them in zoos, and I envy a friend who was in Africa and got to visit them. I'm also sad that gorillas are endangered and that some think they can be hunted, taken from their habitat, or worse, be killed. And, sadder, that those who try to advocate for them, like Dr. Dian Fossey are persecuted. Yet this gentle and informative non-fiction book, can help children love and understand gorillas and in turn advocate for their safety on this precious planet. I love having this book on my shelf and sharing it with the toddlers I care for. Perhaps it can find it's way as a perfect holiday present for the young child in your life. Have a happy Christmas and a loving New Year!

Who doesn’t love gorillas, even if we’ve only ever seen them in a zoo? This informative and enjoyable photo book by Gabriella Francine is an excellent introduction to gorillas for young children. It shows the reader intimate photos of gorillas in Africa, their habitat, play, and eating habits. Little children will fall in love with Pikoe, his mother Izuba, and his father Kunga as they turn the pages to find out more about gorillas and how they can help to save this endangered species.

We Can Help Protect Mountain Gorillas is part of a series for children on endangered species; and shows how even the youngest child can help protect them. Some of the photographs are montaged with illustrations showing children caring for gorillas. These are well conceived by illustrator Phil Velikan to accompany Gabriella Francine’s informative text. Besides saving pennies like the children in the book, young children learn empathy with gorillas by pretending “gorilla” with miniature gorillas, stuffed gorillas, or gorilla suits and pillows in a nest like the children in the book. In a classroom this could be a large unit that could not only incorporates play-acting and art, but also math, gorilla and mountain fauna biology, and a field trip to the nearest zoo. This book comes highly recommended and makes a perfect gift for the holidays or a birthday.


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