Ding Dong! Gorilla!

Michelle Robinson, illus. by Leonie Lord. Peachtree, $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-56145-730-4
Gorillas: they’re not all gently mischievous, as in Peggy Rathmann’s Good Night, Gorilla, or artistic and pensive, like in Katherine Applegate’s The One and Only Ivan. Sometimes they’re downright destructive. That’s certainly the case for the hulking specimen the young narrator accidentally lets into his family’s home, thinking it’s the pizza guy. “I didn’t invite the gorilla in,” says the boy, ostensibly talking to his parents. “He just barged right past me.” The gorilla embarks on a path of suspiciously childlike destruction, dumping toys and clothing on the floor, coloring on the walls, and storing DVDs everywhere from a cereal box to the toilet bowl. Bold typefaces highlight the gorilla’s worst offenses in Robinson’s (Yak Yuk) emphatic prose—as well as the boy’s claims of his own innocence. In digital illustrations with the feel of loose crayon drawings, Lord (The Super Hungry Dinosaur) creates mess after mess as the boy explains that the worst news is yet to come. After all the mayhem, the closing zinger doesn’t pack enough of a punch, but readers will enjoy debating the reliability of the boy’s alibi. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/15/2013
Release date: 09/01/2013
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