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Classic movies show giant gorillas scaling tall buildings and swatting planes from the sky, but actual gorillas are gentle social animals that live together in family groups like humans. In fact, gorillas are one of the closest genetic matches to people. And just like humans, gorillas can

  • shriek
  • chuckle
  • ...
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Classic movies show giant gorillas scaling tall buildings and swatting planes from the sky, but actual gorillas are gentle social animals that live together in family groups like humans. In fact, gorillas are one of the closest genetic matches to people. And just like humans, gorillas can

  • shriek
  • chuckle
  • hiccup
  • even burp!

Award-winning science writer Seymour Simon has teamed up with the Smithsonian Institution to bring you an updated edition of his classic full-color photographic introduction to these fascinating animals.

Describes the physical characteristics and behavior of various kinds of gorillas.

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Editorial Reviews

Horn Book
While the stunning, highly expressive photographs dominate in space and impact, Simon's concise and child-friendly writing means that a fairly full picture of gorilla behavior. . .is amply conveyed... —November-December 2000)
Children's Literature - Heidi Sohng
This nonfiction book fully describes the lifestyles and habits of these shy, secretive anthropoids or manlike apes. It also serves to dispel myths about them and sheds new light on the truth. There are three kinds of gorillas that live in zoos and in the wild. Apparently, all three kinds live in heavily forested areas in Africa. The kind that live in zoos or are found in museums are western lowland gorillas. The mountain gorilla is the largest and least common. Only a few hundred live in some forests, none in zoos. Their physical characteristics, such as their bones and muscles, are similar to ours; however, they have larger stomachs, chests, shoulders and, necks, as well as longer arms. Baby gorillas grow up much faster than human babies do. Gorillas live in small family groups, and each is headed by a large silverback male. He decides where the group will go to find food, rest, and sleep. Gorillas spend much of their day feeding on fruit, leaves, stems, and shoots. Around midday, the silverback chooses a spot for the group to lie in, where they doze and groom each other. Gorillas have several different sounds and expressions for communicating with each other. For example, a male gorilla beats his chest if he's angry at other members of the family, to stop fights between members, or to attract females' attention. Gorillas have no natural enemies—other than humans. They are endangered by poachers, even as they are protected by environmentalists. The vivid, natural photographs capture gorillas living in their natural habitat. This book would be a fine addition to any science library or animal unit. One in a series of books published as a result of a collaboration with theSmithsonian Institution. Reviewer: Heidi Sohng
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-A clear, concise picture of these endangered creatures and their lifestyle. Simon includes information on the three gorilla species and their physical differences, their habitats, diet, daily habits, various behaviors, and decreasing populations. The extremely handsome, oversized color photos enhance the readable text and complement it perfectly. Sadly missing is a map so that children can see how restricted the gorilla's range has become. However, this attractive, informative book certainly deserves a place in all collections, even those already holding Paul Burgel's well-written Gorillas (Carolrhoda, 1993).-Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
"The more you find out about gorillas, the more interesting and less fearsome they become" is this prolific author's theme; he makes his case by matching appealing, shot-in-the-wild photographs to a fluently informative report on the gorilla's physical make-up and typical behavior. They are not so different from us, he contends, pointing to their DNA, fingerprints, and other features, describing their daily routines in the wild, how young are raised, what gorilla sounds and gestures signify, how they respond to perceived threats, and so on. His approach is wonderfully accessible, giving his young readers connections they can recognize: "Fully grown males may weigh more than four hundred pounds, about the weight of ten second-grade children." While it's an idyllic existence—"A gorilla belch means that it is feeding contentedly or sleeping nicely. One gorilla belches, and soon all the gorillas are belching in a slow, relaxing chorus"—it is also threatened, he notes at the end. Building his case carefully and thoughtfully, Simon (They Walk the Earth, p. 485, etc.) leads the reader to understand how nearly human these gentle creatures are, thereby increasing the sense of obligation to save them by saving their forests. The photographs, most of which are closeups, capture how expressive gorilla faces can be. Who could resist their charm? Like Ted and Betsy Lewin's Gorilla Walk (1999), a sure way to turn gorilla-phobes into gorilla-philes. (Nonfiction. 8-11)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060891015
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/30/2008
  • Edition description: Updated
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 102,803
  • Age range: 8 - 11 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.44 (w) x 9.94 (h) x 0.05 (d)

Meet the Author

Seymour Simon has been called "the dean of the [children's science book] field" by the New York Times. He has written more than 250 books for young readers and has received the American Association for the Advancement of Science/Subaru Lifetime Achievement Award for his lasting contribution to children's science literature, the Science Books & Films Key Award for Excellence in Science Books, the Empire State Award for excellence in literature for young people, and the Educational Paperback Association Jeremiah Ludington Award. He and his wife, Liz, live in Great Neck, New York. You can visit him online at www.seymoursimon.com, where you can read "Seymour Science Blog" and download a free four-page teacher guide to accompany this book, putting it in context with Common Core objectives. Many of Seymour's award-winning books are also available as ebooks.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 6, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Gorilla Read

    This is a good book to read if you love gorillas or if you just love to learn about animals. "Gorillas" was a very factual book explaining about how a gorilla acts, what they eat, and where they live. Packed full of information on gorillas I learned a lot about these facsinating mammals. This book is sure to please!

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