Grade Level Equivalent:
Guided Reading Level:
Comedy and Humor
Zoo Animals, Resourcefulness
In this practically wordless bedtime story, a weary zoo keeper bids good night to his charges and then goes home to bed. He doesn't notice, however, that clever Gorilla has pickpocketed his keys and is letting the animals out of their cages, one by one. In single file, they follow the zoo keeper home and settle into comfy spots all around the bedroom he shares with his wife. Finally, a chorus chiming "good night" alerts the zoo keeper's wife, whose eyes pop open in surprise in the darkness. As the zoo keeper sleeps, she walks the animals home, and her final "Good night, zoo" means business. But watch out: Gorilla has done it again, however this time only Mouse gets to come along.
As she did in her Caldecott Medal-winning Officer Buckle and Gloria, Peggy Rathmann uses her expressive, richly colored pictures to give young readers a joyful look at what animals might do when people's backs are turned. Observant children will find extra fun in poring over the illustrations to follow the progress of a released balloon into the sky, laugh at Mouse's valiant efforts to carry one of Gorilla's bananas from cage to cage to house, find the animals in the zookeeper's family photos, and note the appropriate toys each animal has to play with (is that a Babar doll in the elephant cage?). Irrepressible fun for any time of day, Good Night, Gorilla is a gem of a picture book from an award-winning author and illustrator.