Little Gorilla by Ruth Bornstein

Note: I occasionally accept review copies from the publisher. Posts written from review copies are labeled. All opinions are my own. Posts may contain affiliate links. I may receive compensation for any purchased items.

Today I’ll share about a “growing up” book that I really enjoy.

Little Gorilla by Ruth Bornstein shows a little gorilla and all the family and jungle animals that love him. Then, he begins to grow, and soon he is big. It ends with the simple sentence, “And everyone still loved him.” I began inserting my son’s name in it as we read: “Little Gorilla ____.” Since he had recently seen a monkey and baby in a different book or on TV (?not sure where), he was already in a “monkey” stage. Little Gorilla was, therefore, the perfect book for him at this time. He says he’s a baby monkey, I say he’s “Little Gorilla,” and when I read the book with him growing in to a “big gorilla,” I can just see the gears working in his mind. “It’s okay if I get big. Everyone will still love me when I’m big too! I don’t have to stay a baby. And Mommy will still cuddle me.”

I love my little boy and I’m glad for the baby moments, the cuddles, and the adorable things he says as he grows up. Growing up is kind of scary, though, and I love that we can read such a simple book that shows that growing up is pretty normal, and nothing important really changes.

I have so many more books that we’ve read recently. We also have sought out pertinent nonfiction. None of these have been spectacularly written or amazingly engaging, but my son still related to each book and requested it more than once.

After a dental visit, for example, we read Brushing My Teeth by Elizabeth Vogel. Now he must stop and smile at his teeth in the mirror after brushing, just as the girl did in the book.  When he got his haircut, it was Getting a Haircut by Melinda Radabaugh, and after the mail carrier personally showed him the back of the mail truck (he loves the mail truck), we read A Day with a Mail Carrier by Jan Kottke. (See my 1000 Books post for the list to date.)

I should also add that my son and I have been walking to a nearby bridge and playing “Poohsticks” on sunny afternoons. He likes it very much, and it’s making me really want to reread him the Winnie-the-Pooh books this summer.

What “growing up books” do you think are perfect for a toddler?

Reviewed on April 15, 2010

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}