Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Gorilla My Dreams? I Wish I Was a Gorilla by Jennifer Bove'

Sleeping in a giant nest in a tree? Playing all day in the woods? Literally hanging out all the time with your best friends? What kid wouldn't go for that?

What if you wished you were a gorilla? Then you became a young gorilla?

Could you eat like a gorilla? Live in a gorilla family?

Young beginning readers get to try out their inner ape in Harper's new Ranger Rick: I Wish I Was a Gorilla (I Can Read Level 1) (Harper, 2018). Author Jennifer Bove' takes would-be young gorillas through their day as a member of a gorilla troop--taking a ride on their mother's back, being protected by the the troop's Big Kahuna, the senior silverback, searching for sweet juicy fruits in the treetops, and playing with their friends all day long.

Gorilla School is way cool.

How would you learn to be a gorilla? Babies play a lot. Playing helps young gorillas learn to move like grown-up gorillas who roam around and climb trees. Wrestling and chasing one another and playing games teaches them how to get along with other gorillas.

Of course, there's more than fun and games to being a gorilla, and little ones have much to learn from each other and from their elders--what foods are best to eat and where to find them and what predators are dangerous and how to avoid them. That's not always easy, and gorilla troops have to stay on the move to find new foraging places. It takes a lot of food to feed a troop, and the elders must teach the younger ones how to look out for themselves and each other. It's a jungle out there, you know.

Author Jennifer Bove's easy-reading text offers lots of gorilla lore for primary nature lovers as she takes them through a day of being a gorilla. Big color photographs document life among these largest of primates as they care for each other, forage for food, play and socialize, and chill out together, with emphasis on the fun young gorillas clearly share with each other.

Being a gorilla could be cool for a while. But would you want to talk in grunts? Or eat plants and bugs?

In her appendix author Bove' also adds an collection of fun facts, "Did You Know?" a "Fun Zone" with recipes for gorilla cuisine such as "Ants on a Stick," and a glossary titled "Wild Words," that lends itself to classroom nature science studies. And if gorilla life is a bit too plant-based for some, other books by noted nature authors in the series include Ranger Rick: I Wish I Was a Lion (I Can Read Level 1) and Ranger Rick: I Wish I Was an Orca (I Can Read Level 1).

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