The Painting Gorilla

The Painting Gorilla

by Michael Rex
     
 

"In this comically far-fetched book, a talented gorilla’s paintings of other zoo animals and their visitors earn her fame and fortune, which she’s not sure what do with.... In the end, this joyful painting gorilla reminds us that the best things in life are free." —Publishers Weekly

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Overview

"In this comically far-fetched book, a talented gorilla’s paintings of other zoo animals and their visitors earn her fame and fortune, which she’s not sure what do with.... In the end, this joyful painting gorilla reminds us that the best things in life are free." —Publishers Weekly

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In this comically far-fetched book, a talented gorilla’s paintings of other zoo animals and their visitors earn her fame and fortune, which she’s not sure what do with.... In the end, this joyful painting gorilla reminds us that the best things in life are free." —Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this comically far-fetched picture book, a talented gorilla's paintings of other zoo animals and their visitors earn her fame and fortune, which she's not sure what to do with: "But what does a gorilla need money for? A gorilla doesn't need expensive toys or fancy clothes." Cartoon illustrations in solid colors of acrylic paint reveal the gorilla's fantasies of operating a remote-controlled flying plane, and of dubiously modeling a frilly dress. When she asks her animal friends what they most want, she grants their wishes and buys their freedom, converting the zoo into a playground for children (populated by paintings of animals). Rex (illustrator of Floating Home) creates a fable-like tale that sails rapidly toward its conclusion. He sprinkles vignettes of the gorilla painting various subjects throughout as well as double-page spreads of bustling crowds observing the painting primate or wandering the "playground," or like Gauguin, escaping with his paints in densely green surroundings. The book's emphasis on art as a commercial enterprise may be news to the picture-book audience, but in the end, this joyful painting gorilla reminds us that the best things in life are free. Ages 3-7. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
PreS-KA gorilla who lives in the zoo becomes famous for creating paintings of the creatures and people she sees. When she earns a million dollars from the sale of her work, she buys the zoo and takes "all the animals back to their natural homes" to set them free. This slim moral tale is told in straightforward language and illustrated with vivid, acrylic cartoons painted on cel vinyl. Faces of all hues are represented, and children will enjoy naming the zoo inhabitants. Though youngsters will appreciate this quiet book, it lacks the light touch and whimsy of Peggy Rathmann's Goodnight, Gorilla (Putnam, 1994), also about a zoo escape.Carolyn Noah, Central Mass. Regional Library System, Worcester, MA
Kirkus Reviews
From the illustrator of David Getz's Floating Home (p. 380), the story of a gorilla who finds plenty of subject matter for her artwork in the zoo where she lives. There's a "captive" audience to buy her paintings—the people who visit the zoo. The money pours in and the gorilla becomes a world-famous millionaire, but she's not happy: She has no desire for clothes, cars, or rocket ships. Polling her animals friends for a solution, the gorilla eventually uses her pile of dough to buy the zoo; she converts it to a playground, and sets all the animals free, to return to their homes. Perhaps in a story that demands readers believe in primate fine art, questioning how the animals return to their homes (the elephant, among them, lives on another continent) or in what state their homes will be (probably less than idyllic) is quibbling. The story is weak, relying on clichés instead of a real exploration of the elaborately set-up premise: What can a gorilla do with a million bucks? Jovial cartoons add a sunny look to the pages that promise a lot of monkeying around but don't deliver.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780805050202
Publisher:
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date:
09/15/1997
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
9.32(w) x 9.42(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
AD210L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

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