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Little Beauty
Contributor(s): Browne, Anthony (Author), Browne, Anthony (Illustrator)

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ISBN: 0763649678     ISBN-13: 9780763649678
Publisher: Candlewick Press (MA)
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Binding Type: Paperback - See All Available Formats & Editions
Published: August 2010

Annotation: When a gorilla who knows sign language tells his keepers that he is lonely, they bring him a very special friend.
Additional Information
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | Animals - Apes, Monkeys, Etc.
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2007051887
Age Level: 3-7
Grade Level: Preschool-2
Lexile Measure: 430(Not Available)
Physical Information: 0.2" H x 9.1" W x 10.5" (0.45 lbs) 32 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 125579
Reading Level: 1.9   Interest Level: Lower Grades   Point Value: 0.5
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s): Anthony Browne, a Hans Christian Andersen Medalist, is the author-illustrator of many acclaimed books for children, including SILLY BILLY. He lives in Kent, England.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2009 Spring)
A sign-language-speaking gorilla befriends a kitten. It's all fun and games until the gorilla, offended by [cf2]King Kong[cf1], destroys their TV. When caretakers come to rescue the kitten, she takes the blame, in a demonstration of loyalty and animal intelligence. Browne's subversive fable, warm and fuzzy on the outside, ferocious within, is illustrated with impeccable large-scale pictures. Copyright 2009 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2009 #1)
A gorilla has learned sign language to get whatever he needs -- coffee, a burger, the remote -- but his caretakers are momentarily stumped when he asks for a friend. Like his real-life counterpart Koko, the gorilla is given a kitten, here named Beauty, and it's all fun and games until the gorilla, offended by the depiction of his kind in King Kong, goes into a blood-red rage and destroys the TV. But when the caretakers come to rescue Beauty, she takes the blame, and -- perhaps as swayed by the evidence that animals can lie as by the demonstration of her loyalty and sign-language skills -- the humans let the pair stay together, "happily ever after." It's the kind of subversive fable that Browne specializes in -- warm and fuzzy on the outside, ferocious within, illustrated with large-scale pictures whose impeccable realism give the fantasy the charge of possibility. Copyright 2009 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2008 October #2)

Inspired by the story of Koko, the sign-language-fluent gorilla, and her pet kitten, Browne (Voices in the Park ) imagines a similar interspecies friendship. His nameless signing gorilla seems to have everything he needs: a comfy chair (the upholstery looks positively Pierre Deux), a TV and a cheeseburger, but something is not right: the look on his face screams, "Is that all there is?" His ennui evaporates, however, with the arrival of a tiny kitten named Beauty. "They did everything together," Browne notes on one of the funny, touching spreads that ensue; in this particular case, he shows that these BFFs can't be separated even when nature calls. Playing with scale and perspective, continually recalibrating the level of detail (on some closeups, the individual hairs of the gorilla's fur coat are distinct), imbuing his simian hero with a range of emotion worthy of a young Marlon Brando, Browne creates an unpredictable visual vocabulary in sync with the unlikely but enduring affection between Beauty and beast. Ages 3–5. (Nov.)

[Page 53]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2008 November)

PreS-Gr 3—This reworking of the classic tale of a beast transformed by unconditional love depicts the protagonist as a lumbering gorilla and Beauty as a petite cat. A red rose on the title page hints at what's to come. But wait! Alert readers will recognize this relationship, these very poses: here are Hanabi-Ko and All Ball from the real-life story of the sensitive, signing gorilla described by Francine Patterson in Koko's Kitten (Scholastic, 1985). Browne melds fact and fiction into a story that reads simply, but offers layers. Luscious, creamy pages provide contrast for the large, well-spaced font and the dark, furry figure that often bleeds off the page. Watercolor and pencil renderings capture the animal in moments of profound loneliness and extreme anger; he reacts to King Kong by smashing the TV in a page red with rage. Zookeepers fear for Beauty's safety, but her surprising intervention saves the day. Children will chuckle as they view the pair doing everything together, from using the bathroom to swinging from the lamp, like the mythical figure flying too close to the sun. (Bruegel's Fall of Icarus hangs in the background.) Browne's exquisite interpretation of a real-life gorilla is a welcome progression.—Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library

[Page 85]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
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