I like gorillas. If there is any creature more amazing that actually exists (sadly I have yet to meet a real unicorn…) then I haven’t seen it.

I’ve read some great gorilla books in the past few years:

Koko’s story is sweet and sad. She had been taught American Sign Language and told her caretakers that she wanted a baby of her own. Her kitten filled that need perfectly.

While Newberry Award winning The One and Only Ivan is based on a real gotilla, Katherine Applegate fictionalized his story and added other great characters like Ruby. I’m so glad we know now that Ivan didn’t belong alone in a shopping mall. This is a great book for kids who need to try thicker books but are reluctant. It’s not a high reading level, and because Ivan is telling the story the pages don’t tend to be full. They get hooked quickly and are pleasantly surprised when they realize they’ve finished this ‘big’ book.

I like to recommend this as a companion to the novel. Ivan: the remarkable true story of the shopping mall gorilla tells us Ivan’s story in a nonfiction format. The kids find it terribly sad and are outraged, but it gives me hope for how our future generations will care for wild animals.

Little Gorilla is a cute story about how all the animals love Little Gorilla even when he’s not little anymore. This one has cute pictures.

Someone in the zoo is a bit naughty. Gorilla follows the night guard around the zoo and lets all the animals out. The animals follow the guard home and climb into bed with he and his wife. Imagine her surprise!

Anthony Browne’s Gorilla is about a little girl who loves gorillas and her daddy. Daddy is always too busy to spend time with her, but gives hera toy gorilla for her birthday. At first she is disappointed, but the gorilla is magical and takes her to the zoo. This book had the best illustrations! 

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