Top positive review
2 of 2 people found this helpful
Not only cute, but really quite good
on January 23, 2004
The creators of children's picture books that seek to enchant the viewer always run the risk of sometimes becoming TOO sweet. A book that's dripping with sweetie-pie sentiments is always in danger of disgusting the discerning (and purchasing) parent. "Good Night, Gorilla", on the other hand, balances deftly between sweet and smart, becoming both at once. In a simple story, a night watchman at a zoo bids goodnight to each of his animals as a sneaky gorilla unlocks them one by one. The unwitting watchman goes home (animals in tow) and it's up to his wife to put them all to bed again. If I was a better writer I'd be able to tell you just how cute this book is. It's SO cute! But not stupid in the least. Rathmann has filled this story with clever little subplots that kids will enjoy following. A small mouse with a banana lugs the heavy object from picture to picture. Rathmann even goes so far as to wrap a picture on the back of the book's cover around and into the inner fold where the tiny mouse stands by, patiently. The book also emotes deadpan beautifully. In one scene the watchman's wife says goodnight to her husband and the page goes black. Next we hear each animal in the room (that crept in unbeknownst to her) saying goodnight back. The two page spread that follows is just a single pair of wide open eyes in the black dark room. The deadpan wit will not be lost on either kids or their adult parents. If you'd like a book that you can read fifty times over without getting nauseated or bored, find yerself a copy of "Good Night, Gorilla", and count yourself lucky for having discovered it.