BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

One Gorilla: A Counting Book by Anthony Browne

One GorillaCounting books seem to be a dime a dozen, and some you wouldn’t even pay that much for! How satisfying, then, to discover this priceless One Gorilla.

The concept is simple – it’s a counting book, after all: each bold, sensational double-page spread features a numeral and the corresponding number of various primates, from the titular 1 gorilla to 4 mandrills to 9 colobus monkeys …

But wait … because after the 10 lemurs, creator Anthony Browne inserts his own self-portrait, as he explains, “All primates. / All one family. / All my family …” And when you turn the page once more, he includes “… and yours!” That final spread spectacularly showcases human primates from all over the world, of all skin tones, ages, and even expressions: the shyly smiling woman in chador, the tentative little girl still sporting bed-head, the comical older man with hair so stiff as to resemble a strange helmet, the blonde woman with too much make-up caught with her eyes closed, the wrinkled older woman with thinning hair gazing with deep concern emanating from her aging eyes, and so many more.

You and I could easily step right into the picture; in fact, the partial body at the top right suggests that the human population goes on and on … with all of us welcome and included.

Browne’s One is simply magnificent – all for One, and One for all, indeed!

Readers: Children

Published: 2012, 2013 (United States)


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