Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Good Night, Gorilla

Good Night, Gorilla

4.5 69
by Peggy Rathmann

See All Formats & Editions

The lovable, mischievous little gorilla, who crawls into bed with the zookeeper and his wife in Good Night, Gorilla, is now ready to crawl into bed with children. Perfect for storytime, playtime--and bedtime--this eight-inch-tall plush doll is soft and huggable.


The lovable, mischievous little gorilla, who crawls into bed with the zookeeper and his wife in Good Night, Gorilla, is now ready to crawl into bed with children. Perfect for storytime, playtime--and bedtime--this eight-inch-tall plush doll is soft and huggable.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble Staff
Unaware that a gorilla has stolen his keys, a zookeeper wishes all the animals good-night and sets off for home. A troupe of newly freed beasts follow the sleepy keeper back to his house and into his bed. When the keeper's wife wakes to wish her husband good-night, many good-night wishes come back to her from out of the dark!
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Universally understandable subject matter and a narrative conveyed almost entirely through pictures mark this as an ideal title for beginners. A zookeeper makes his nightly rounds, bidding good night to a gorilla, a lion, a giraffe and so on. He doesn't know that the gorilla has procured his keys and is unlocking each animal's cage; a jungly crowd files quietly behind the keeper as he walks home and crawls into bed. When his wife says, ``Good night, dear,'' seven voices reply, ``Good night,'' and it's up to the missus to return the mischievous menagerie. Although Rathmann's illustrations lack the artistic ingenuity she displayed in Ruby the Copycat and Bootsie Barker Bites , the author/artist connects with her audience on several levels. Children can identify with the animals, who have toys in their cages (the elephant has a plush Babar) and resist being left alone in their ``rooms'' all night; they will also enjoy some minor subplots. Some details prove questionable (for example, one overdrawn visage of Mrs. Zookeeper seems blurry, particularly because she's rendered with a few simple lines elsewhere), yet these considerations take a back seat to Rathmann's comic exuberance. Ages 3-6. ( Apr. )
Publishers Weekly
Peggy Rathmann's Good Night, Gorilla returns as a hefty, oversize board book. Of this tale of a sneaky simian who escapes from the zoo, PW said, "Universally understandable subject matter and a narrative conveyed almost entirely through pictures mark this as an ideal title for beginners." Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
In this nearly wordless book young children will have a good laugh as they watch the zookeeper making his rounds and wishing the animals all goodnight. The clever gorilla has swiped the zookeeper's keys and as he visits each cage, he opens it and lets the animal out. As the keeper heads for home, the animals all follow along and join him and his wife for a good night's sleep. Or so it seems until the zookeeper's wife realizes that something has gone wrong when she hears a chorus of goodnights. She takes the animals back to the zoo, but our crafty gorilla is not one to be outdone. In this oversized board book, the large illustrations convey all of the detail and humor—from the lion licking its lips over a bone to the mouse pulling a banana that shows up again and again until it is finally just a banana skin on the very last page. 2004 (orig. 1994), Putnam, Ages 3 to 6.
—Marilyn Courtot
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-A mischievous little gorilla lifts the zoo keeper's keys on the first page of this sparely worded picture book. The brightly colored illustrations basically tell the entertaining story as the gorilla tags along behind the man, gleefully freeing all of the other animals, who then follow him single file into his neat little house. It is his unruffled wife who, without disturbing her sleepy husband, calmly returns the creatures to their cages. Even she, however, does not notice the wily gorilla, who, still in possession of the keys, returns to the house, slips into the big bed, and curls up contentedly between the people for the night. A clever, comforting bedtime story.-Jan Shepherd Ross, Dixie Elementary Magnet School, Lexington, KY
Ilene Cooper
In this limited-word picture book, a gorilla follows the zookeeper as he says good-night to his charges. What the zookeeper doesn't know is that the mischievous gorilla has snatched his keys and is letting out the animals almost as fast as the zookeeper can lock them up. The animals follow him to his house and into the bedroom, where, in an amusing pitch-black spread, a pair of worried wide-open eyes let the zookeeper's wife know that she and her husband are not alone. Jaunty four-color artwork carries the story and offers more with every look.
From the Publisher
"In a book economical in text and simple in illustrations, the many amusing, small details, as well as the tranquil tome of the story, make this an outstanding picture book." —The Horn Book, starred review

“The amiable cartoon characters, vibrant palette, and affectionate tone of the author’s art recall Thatcher Hurd’s cheerful illustrations. Delightful.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"A clever, comforting bedtime story." —School Library Journal, starred review

"Jaunty four-color artwork carries the story and offers more with every look." —Booklist

Product Details

Gardners Books
Publication date:
Edition description:
Age Range:
3 - 5 Years

Read an Excerpt

Good night, Gorilla

By Peggy Rathmann

G. P. Putnam's Sons

Copyright © 1994 Peggy Rathmann
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-399-23003-3

Chapter One

Good night, Gorilla.

Good night, Elephant.

Good night Hyena.

Good night, Giraffe.

Good night, Armadillo.

Good night, dear.

Good night.

Good night.

Good night.

Good night.

Good night.

Good night

Good night.

Good night, zoo.

Good night, dear.

Good night.

Good night, GorilLa.


Good night, Lion.


Excerpted from Good night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann Copyright © 1994 by Peggy Rathmann. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Caldecott-medalist Peggy Rathmann was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, and grew up in the suburbs with two brothers and two sisters.

"In the summer we lolled in plastic wading pools guzzling Kool-Aid. In the winter we sculpted giant snow animals. It was a good life."

Ms. Rathmann graduated from Mounds View High School in New Brighton, Minnesota, then attended colleges everywhere, changing her major repeatedly. She eventually earned a B.A. in psychology from the University of Minnesota.

"I wanted to teach sign language to gorillas, but after taking a class in signing, I realized what I'd rather do was draw pictures of gorillas."

Ms. Rathmann studied commercial art at the American Academy in Chicago, fine art at the Atelier Lack in Minneapolis, and children's-book writing and illustration at the Otis Parsons School of Design in Los Angeles.

"I spent the first three weeks of my writing class at Otis Parsons filching characters from my classmates' stories. Finally, the teacher convinced me that even a beginning writer can create an original character if the character is driven by the writer's most secret weirdness. Eureka! A little girl with a passion for plagiarism! I didn't want anyone to know it was me, so I made the character look like my sister."

The resulting book, Ruby the Copycat, earned Ms. Rathmann the "Most Promising New Author" distinction in Publishers Weekly's 1991 annual Cuffie Awards. In 1992 she illustrated Bootsie Barker Bites for Barbara Bottner, her teacher at Otis Parsons.

A homework assignment produced an almost wordless story, Good Night, Gorilla, inspired by a childhood memory.

"When I was little, the highlight of the summer was running barefoot through the grass, in the dark, screaming. We played kick-the-can, and three-times-around-the-house, and sometimes we just stood staring into other people's picture windows, wondering what it would be like to go home to someone else's house."

That story, however, was only nineteen pages long, and everyone agreed that the ending was a dud. Two years and ten endings later, Good Night, Gorilla was published and recognized as an ALA Notable Children's Book for 1994.

The recipient of the 1996 Caldecott Medal, Officer Buckle and Gloria, is the story of a school safety officer upstaged by his canine partner.

"We have a videotape of my mother chatting in the dining room while, unnoticed by her or the cameraman, the dog is licking every poached egg on the buffet. The next scene shows the whole family at the breakfast table, complimenting my mother on the delicious poached eggs. The dog, of course, is pretending not to know what a poached egg is. The first time we watched that tape we were so shocked, we couldn't stop laughing. I suspect that videotape had a big influence on my choice of subject matter."

Ms. Rathmann lives and works in San Francisco, in an apartment she shares with her husband, John Wick, and a very funny bunch of ants.

copyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Good Night, Gorilla 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 69 reviews.
Readingmom33 More than 1 year ago
Good Night Gorilla is full of action and fun. A great bedtime story that features cute illustrations of the animals. My sons love the book and and I'm sure your children would love it, too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the first book my 15 month old picked up and he hasn't put it down. We've gone through atleast 4 copies of the book in 6 months because of the wear and tear he puts on the book!! He 'reads' it himself and also has anyone around read it to him.
momreadsalot More than 1 year ago
I was so disappointed when we cracked open our new copy of Good Night Gorilla and discovered a short, near wordless book. I wish a review would have spelled that out a little more. It's nearly mommy-abuse thinking up a new story every day. My son is amused by it- I think it's just for younger kids. At least I've warned some parents.
duluthdawn More than 1 year ago
A fun and funny story your child will want again and again. With few words and engaging pictures, children can easily read it with you. It's a great bedtime book! As a plus, track the red balloon on each page.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is just the most precious bedtime story yet. All the action going on with each page and the illustrations are great. My son loves this book and I'm sure you will, too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Your child will want to read this over and over, and each time you can point out new things. My three year old son has loved this since he was one and my 18-month old daughter giggles every time she sees the eyes in the dark. You can have fun making different voices for all the animals, and finding the red balloon throughout the book as it sails toward the crescent moon.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Though this book has very few words, it is a wonderful book to discover characters and action through pictures by asking what are they doing or counting the animals. Love to read it just before nap or bedtime. The best part is finding the mouse and the banana!
Guest More than 1 year ago
My 14 month old and I LOVE this book! When I first looked at it, I thought 'there are no words!' but now I realize the VALUE in that: I get to make up a different story every night! It's also nice that I can make the story a quick one or take my time and make up some grand tale! It's currently our favorite bedtime book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My 23-month-old loves this book. Her favorite page is when the zookeeper's wife reacts to all the 'good nights' that she hears in the dark...as if she's saying 'HUH?' I often hear her 'reading' the book after I've tucked her in for the night. Mom's favorite part is seeing all the animals' stuffed animals (like the Babar in the elephant's cage) a cute touch!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Probably the most read book in our daughter's library for a six-month period, and she still pulls it out every now and then even though she's a first-grader and reading on her own. She just loves it. Highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
.ijljmmik.jubj k.unhmnhnimml Koliopk I.ui .opynio.mjmopn .khjn.p liookmo.lmiplh
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My granddaughter loves this book! I bought it on my Nook and she loves hearing the built in reader. She loves the music and animal sounds. She especially likes hearing the hyena and tries to imitate it!!
rosie588 More than 1 year ago
I bought this book for my grandson who is 17 months old.He loves the book.
cully79 More than 1 year ago
I bought this book for a friend's baby shower because our sons enjoyed it so much when they were little. The illustrations are colorful and expressive. The story is simple, as befits a "going to bed" book, and children can easily follow the "action".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
got this for our 2 year old daughter and she LOVES IT! This author is great! We are also big fans of the 10 minutes to bed book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My little ones enjoy all the beautiful illustrations in this book.  I have a two year old and a baby.  It doesn't have very many words, so I think it is best enjoyed with a verbal toddler or preschooler.  That surprised me because I originally bought it for the baby.  It is a great book to talk through and it makes us laugh.  I particularly like the lap-sized board book.  It really does make it easier to read to both boys at once.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
edelweis More than 1 year ago
I babysit and the kids I watch are obsessed with this book! It's a very good children's book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a children's librarian and this is my favorite book to give as a baby gift. I also love The Monster at the End of This Book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
tchrreader More than 1 year ago
This is the cutest story and a great book! The illustrations are so great. This is a really cute baby shower gift, you can give the board book version to make it last for a small child. This is such a cute book about the zoo keeper who leaves the gorilla cage unlocked and he follows the zoo keeper home. The wife is hilarious. You will really enjoy the bright colors of the illustrations. There aren't many words in this book and few words are needed. You will love this one!