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|Still a gorilla!|
Author: Norman, Kim
Willy the Gorilla imitates the other animals at the zoo, but despite pretending he remains always a gorilla.
Kirkus Reviews (+) (04/15/16)
School Library Journal (06/01/16)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (09/16)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 06/01/2016 PreS-Gr 1—Willy, a young gorilla, longs to be something else. A lion? A billy goat? A walrus? Each time Willy tries to emulate one of his fellow zoo animals, he is disappointed to find out he is still a gorilla. This bright and vibrant story is a fun read, and children will delight in inferring what animal comes next. The graphic-style digital artwork is cheerful and engaging. This silly read-aloud explores print awareness as well as rhyme. Illustrations and font are large, which adds to the creativity of the story and allows the book to work well when shared with a group. Text is minimalistic and done in various colors. Children will love the repetition, chiming in on the refrain, "No. Still a gorilla!" VERDICT A surefire selection for a lively animal-themed storytime. A must-have.—Megan McGinnis, Sachem Public Library, Holbrook, NY - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 09/01/2016 Little Willy the gorilla contemplates transforming himself into several different animals at the zoo where he lives-“Maybe a lion? If Willy strides outside and roars with pride, will Willy be a lion? Will he?”-but each attempt ultimately fails: “No. Still a gorilla!” After all his efforts flop, Willy tries a combination of several characteristics: “Well, how about this? What if Willy roars and grows, chews and butts, creeps and chomps, and thumps and jumps all at the same time. . . . Will Willy be silly?” The answer of course is a resounding “Yes!” along with the observation that he is “still a gorilla!” The formula gives helpful structure to the story and the repeated refrain invites audience participation. Wordplay (will he/Willy) and the sprinkling of rhyming words in the descriptions of the various animals (“thumps and jumps over plum-tree stumps”) add to the readaloud and educational value, and the silly situations will tickle kids’ funny bones as well. The bold graphic design of the art and the large, blocky typeface make for easy distance viewing. A muscular little guy with tufty brown hair, Willy is an endearing figure, and there’s a warm playfulness in his various attempts to imitate other animals (putting bananas in his mouth to simulate walrus tusks) and the resultant failures. Add this to a zoo- or primate-themed story hour or use to discuss rhyme (and perhaps homophones) with preschool or primary-grade students. JH - Copyright 2016 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.