This book contained three short stories regarding Grappo the Gorilla and his family’s interaction with man and other creatures. Grappo the Gorilla, Grapella Gets Taken, The Twins Meet Man.
Grappo the Gorilla Review
I initially chose this book to read with my first grader, but halfway through the second small story, I chose to stop reading it to her. I finished it on my own because I needed to so that I could provide an accurate review.
Before I list why I did not like this book, I will speak briefly on what I did like. I liked that this story opened up plenty of teaching and discussion opportunities with my child. We, using clues from the stories, looked up sound clips of gorillas playing. We talked about how animal gestures were similar and also different from human gestures. We were also able to discuss if it was wrong to take animals from their families.
The short stories were the perfect length to keep my child’s attention.
Now, I decided to stop reading it to her because I did not agree with how the author seemed to portray gorillas. Instead of speaking of the animals with the respect such creatures deserve, the descriptors chosen were those such as “slow-wits”, “blundering”, etc. I got the sense the author views gorillas as clumsy animals worthy of no respect, and useful only as a medium to tell their stories with. This viewpoint is not one that I choose to express to my child.
There was one seemingly glaring error in the third story. In one paragraph, the child’s name is Lucy, but suddenly it gets changed to Lisa, and then back again to Lucy. There were also occasional odd language choices, such as “David was still keeping frequent visits” instead of “David was still making frequent visits”.
There were two instances that could be interpreted perhaps as an error or not: The mountain is called Mikeno, in the first two stories, but in the third story, the gorilla remembers it as “Milkeno” which could be a misunderstanding, but then he names his children “Miko” and “Keno”, so it reads more like a typo that was not caught than a creature’s misunderstanding. Then, Keno is kept long form, but Miko is promptly referred to, even formally as Mik.
Overall, while there were a few positives to this book, I honestly do not feel I could recommend it to others for reading to their children. Nor would I wish to read more from this author.
Title: Grappo the Gorilla | Author: Marianne Parry | Publisher: Troubador Publishing Ltd | Publication Date: March 2015 | Pages: 24 | Genre: Children’s Fiction | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 2 out of 5 | Source: Received a copy free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.