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Author: Sarah L Thomson

Illustrator: Wildlife Conservation Society

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Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers,

Material: paperback

Summary: There are similarities between how gorillas live and how we live as families. Learn about their habits and where they live in this non-fiction picture book. This is a book for kids learning to read.

Type of Reading: playtime reading, learning to read, read aloud book, developing reader, easy reader

Recommended Age: read togtehter: 5 to 8; read yourself: 7 to 9

Interest Level: 6 to 9

Reading Level: 2.8

Age of Child: Read with 7-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: Our first-grader was more interested in studying the pictures than in reading this book. This is one we’ll come back to later in the year when her sight-word vocabulary has expanded.

Adult Reader Reaction: There is a lot to learn in this book. It is unfortunate that the presentation style is so stilted. There are wonderful examples of non-fiction early readers with good story lines and smooth reading.

Pros: Parents looking for nonfiction early readers will find this to be a book filled with excellent, detailed information about gorillas, their habitat, and the need for conservation.

Cons: Books like this only seem to reinforce nonfiction as “boring.” There is some excellent information about the Wildlife Conservation Society in the front. It would be nice if this were more prominent and incorporated into the book itself.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This book helps kids practice their reading and expand their knowledge of the world around them. Because it is filled with lots of information, it is an excellent choice for a school or public library.


Educational Themes: There is a lot of factual information about gorillas, their habits, their food, and where they live. The author carefully contrasts and compares gorillas and humans, and you can build on that either by creating zen diagrams or by making your own list. At the front of the paperback version, there is a page about the Wildlife Conservation Society and Gorillas. You’ll find interesting information about gorillas there, too, and you can expand that learning by creating a map or looking at a globe to see where gorillas live.

Notes: Flesch Kincaid reading level 2.8

Literary Categories: Nonfiction - science, nature, easy reader series, animals

Date(s) Reviewed: October 2008

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