One Gorilla: A Counting Book

( 2 )

Overview

Primo primate artist Anthony Browne is at the top of his form with a simple — and simply fascinating — array of creatures for kids to count.

What better attention-getter for small children than primates in all their variety? And who better to render them than Anthony Browne? In this elegant counting book, the author-illustrator outdoes himself with a vivid presentation of primates from gorillas to gibbons, macaques to mandrills, ring-tailed lemurs to spider monkeys. With his ...

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Overview

Primo primate artist Anthony Browne is at the top of his form with a simple — and simply fascinating — array of creatures for kids to count.

What better attention-getter for small children than primates in all their variety? And who better to render them than Anthony Browne? In this elegant counting book, the author-illustrator outdoes himself with a vivid presentation of primates from gorillas to gibbons, macaques to mandrills, ring-tailed lemurs to spider monkeys. With his striking palette, exquisite attention to detail, and quirky flair for facial expressions, Anthony Browne slyly extends the basic number concept into a look at similarities and differences — portraying an extended family we can count ourselves part of.

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Editorial Reviews

The Washington Post - Kristi Elle Jemtegaard
It is difficult—possibly impossible—to remember a recent counting book that has clambered up out of the slough of "useful" into the rarefied strata of "stunning" and "memorable." Hats off to Anthony Browne for creating One Gorilla…it is the faces peering back at the observer that change everything: wise, cunning, playful, exuberant, crafty, sweet and sly…this picture book invites the very youngest to gaze into the luminous eyes of their primate cousins and see a spirit as intense, as intricate and as important as their own.
Publishers Weekly
Former U.K. Children’s Laureate Browne has always been interested in primates, as books like Gorilla and his Willy the Chimp series have made clear. Now, the static nature of a counting book allows him to devote maximum attention to each animal, from a single gorilla to 10 lemurs. Each arresting portrait fills a full spread against a backdrop of white. Larger, rarer primates appear first, progressing to smaller, more numerous species like macaques and colobus monkeys. The key to the book’s impact lies in the dignity of a portrait sitting that Browne confers on creatures more commonly seen behind glass walls. Every face has a discernible personality. Even the lemurs are distinct individuals, with variations in snouts, eyes, and ears. Browne follows the series with a meticulously painted closeup of another primate—himself—and then a group portrait of humans of many ages and ethnicities. “All primates. All one family. All my family,” he writes, “and yours!” Browne’s work exemplifies the way close observation of animals leads, for both artist and viewer, to deepened respect—and, as he hopes, to a sense of kinship. Ages 3–up. (Feb.)
From the Publisher
The key to the book’s impact lies in the dignity of a portrait sitting that Browne confers on creatures more commonly seen behind glass walls. Every face has a discernible personality. Even the lemurs are distinct individuals, with variations in snouts, eyes, and ears.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

The text is spare: "1 gorilla"; "2 orangutans"; "3 chimpanzees"; and so forth, concluding after "10 lemurs" with depictions of the author and an array of humans. The portraits, however, are extraordinary: Browne’s exquisite precision, with delicate hatching of fur and careful stippled delination of facial lines, becomes jubilant with color and personality.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)

In this seemingly simple counting book from one to ten (plus a final coda), generous white space and classic type treatment balance expertly with large head-and-shoulders portraits of primates...Browne’s watercolor technique is just about perfect, combining realism and exaggeration, mass and focus.
—The Horn Book (starred review)

Browne really cranks up the color intensity in this gorgeous, large-trim portrait gallery of primates.
—Kirkus Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
As he counts from one to ten, Browne introduces ten different primates, from one gorilla through orangutans, chimpanzees, mandrills, baboons, gibbons, spider monkeys, macaques, and colobus monkeys to ten lemurs. The artist's naturalistic, almost photorealistic mixed media create animal portraits with individual personalities. Some even seem to smile at us. The double-page design uses only the white page background with very large numbers and the primates' name, which make the brown page with yellow number and identification matching the baboons' fur stand out. Finally, Browne reminds us that they are all one family, next to his full-page self-portrait. "All my family...and yours!" is his conclusion on a double-page spread. Preschoolers and early elementary school readers are sure to enjoy this visit with the various members of their primate family. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—In a large, lavish format featuring exquisitely detailed paintings, Browne begins this counting book with an animal he has illustrated many times before-the gorilla-along with nine other members of the primate family. After 10 lemurs, he concludes the counting experience by emphasizing humankind's genetic link to these mammals, and he makes this connection powerfully-"All primates. All one family. All my family… and yours." Through the starkly realistic mixed-media art, he imbues each animal with distinctive facial features, especially the eyes. The eight macaques appear hauntingly human as they stare out at viewers with soulful, intelligent eyes. A generous amount of white space and varied composition make the counting clear. On the title page children may be confused by a single lemur featured directly under the title One Gorilla, and while the animals pictured encompass a wide variety of color tones in the wild, some of the vivid reds do not appear natural. Nevertheless, this is an arresting visual experience.—Caroline Ward, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT
Kirkus Reviews
Browne really cranks up the color intensity in this gorgeous, large-trim portrait gallery of primates. Beginning with "1 gorilla" and counting up to "10 lemurs," he presents on each spread a formally arranged head and upper-body close-up, with each subject placed against a plain white backdrop facing the viewer. Most are smiling, though as the groupings increase in size, they begin to take on the look of class photos, with a range of expressions on view and eyes sometimes playfully glancing to the side rather than looking directly out. Nonetheless, every visible eye gleams with steady, clear intelligence. Each ape is painted in hair-fine detail, in variegated hues that—particularly for the titular simian and the fiery orange parent and child orangutans that follow—glow incandescently. Browne closes with a self-portrait followed by a multicultural gathering of humans spanning the age spectrum, all with features and expressions that clearly echo those seen previously on hairier faces. The former British Children's Laureate has a simple point—"All primates. / All one family. / All my family… / and yours!"—and he makes it in a visually compelling way. (Picture book. 3-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763663520
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 2/12/2013
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 239,083
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.40 (w) x 11.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Anthony Browne, a recent British Children’s Laureate, has received many awards for his work, including the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2000 for his services to children’s literature. He has written and illustrated more than forty books, including Little Beauty and How Do You Feel? Anthony Browne lives in Kent, England.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2014

    This book is great for both counting and ape family recognition.

    This book is great for both counting and ape family recognition.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2014

    The pictures in this book are vibrant however,  I DO NOT recomme

    The pictures in this book are vibrant however,  I DO NOT recommend it!  This book promotes evolution.  The last two pages of thebook state...all primates...all one family...all my family and yours.  The living God is creator of all there is and will
    ever be, we are created in the very image of God.  Look at Genesis 1:27 in the Bible...So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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