Full Text Reviews:
Bulletin for the Center... - 01/01/2013 Browne makes a simple counting book into a celebration of the primate family in this radiant gallery of portraits. The text is spare: “1 gorilla”; “2 orangutans”; “3 chimpanzees”; and so forth, concluding after “10 lemurs” with depictions of the author and an array of humans. The portraits, however, are extraordinary: Browne’s exquisite precision, with delicate hatching of fur and careful stippled delination of facial lines, becomes jubilant with color and personality. Each spread of primate faces is a stunning collection of individuals: the nine colubus monkeys, for instance, are as different in expression and feature as nine humans would be. The orderly presentations, full frontal view, and absence of background accentuate the human/primate comparison by suggesting that each species is sitting for a family portrait. Therefore, what would initially be a look at differentness-gazing at the snowy wonder of the octet of macaques, for instance-becomes an invitation to a narrative about the similarity of families, encouraging kids to wonder who’s the grandfather, who’s the shy sister, who’s the family showoff, etc. As a counting book, this has a simple majesty that will mesmerize some kids, but you could also use it to talk about biology in a pairing with Steve Jenkins’ nature study titles-or with collections of human family portraits. DS - Copyright 2013 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
Booklist - 01/01/2013 The cover portrait of this counting book is a large, luminous image of the head and shoulders of a gorilla, both fearsome and vulnerable, and each of the primates featured in the following pages make clear the human connection, in both body language and facial expression. With the image of two orangutans, there is a nurturing mother, her baby in her arms. The spread for three chimpanzees shows a loving parent with two small, individual offspring. All the portraits blend mixed media and collage, and the faces look more and more human, right up to the double-page spread of 10 lemurs. Then comes the dual climax: first, a close-up self-portrait of the artist with his comment: “All primates, / All one family, / All my family.” Turn the page and there is a crowd of more than 20 individual human head-and-shoulders portraits across gender, race, color, age, all connected. “All my family. And yours.” A great spark for both science discussions and fun. - Copyright 2013 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 03/01/2013 PreS-Gr 2—In a large, lavish format featuring exquisitely detailed paintings, Browne begins this counting book with an animal he has illustrated many times before-the gorilla-along with nine other members of the primate family. After 10 lemurs, he concludes the counting experience by emphasizing humankind's genetic link to these mammals, and he makes this connection powerfully-"All primates. All one family. All my family… and yours." Through the starkly realistic mixed-media art, he imbues each animal with distinctive facial features, especially the eyes. The eight macaques appear hauntingly human as they stare out at viewers with soulful, intelligent eyes. A generous amount of white space and varied composition make the counting clear. On the title page children may be confused by a single lemur featured directly under the title One Gorilla, and while the animals pictured encompass a wide variety of color tones in the wild, some of the vivid reds do not appear natural. Nevertheless, this is an arresting visual experience.—Caroline Ward, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT - Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.