Author: Anthony Browne
Illustrator: Anthony Browne
Publisher: Walker Books
Suggested Year Group: Year 4
This is a stunning new edition of the classic picture book by a Hans Christian Andersen Award-winner.Hannah loves gorillas but has never seen one. Her father's too busy to take her to the zoo - or for anything else come to that. For her birthday, Hannah asks her father for a gorilla - but is disappointed when she discovers that the gorilla she's got is just a toy one.
But then something extraordinary happens...the toy turns into a real gorilla, who puts on her father's hat and coat and takes her off for a magical visit to the zoo...
Rationale for Selection
Gorilla is a complex picture book with themes of loneliness and friendship explored through illustration as well as text. Readers of all abilities are able to develop comprehension skills through this rich and multi layered book.
Points for DiscussionFirst double page spread: “Her father didn’t have time to take her to see one at the zoo. He didn’t have time for anything.”
- Why do you think he doesn’t have time for anything?
- What does the picture tell you about Hannah and her father?
- Why has Anthony Browne chosen the colour blue and why is Hannah dressed in red?
- What effect does this have on the reader?Second double page spread: What might Hannah be asking her father in this picture? What does her body language tell you? How do you think he says , “Not now. I’m busy. Maybe tomorrow.”
- What might Hannah be asking her father in this picture?
- What does her body language tell you?
- How do you think he says , “Not now. I’m busy. Maybe tomorrow.”
- Spend some time exploring the picture of Hannah watching the television. What does this add to your thoughts about Hannah?
- What makes Hannah decide to go with the gorilla?
- Why do you think the animals on the zoo look sad? Do you think Anthony Browne likes to see animals in zoos?
- Did Hannah’s outing with the gorilla really happen or was it just a dream? Why do you think that?
- What are the differences?
- How has Anthony Browne shown this through the words and illustrations?
- Why do you think her father has changed?
- What are the key themes in Gorilla?
- Through whose eyes are you seeing this story? Is it Hannah or her father?
- Does it remind you of any other story?
Which two of these words best fit the themes in Gorilla?
Alone and Lonely
Copyright: Just Imagine Story Centre Ltd
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These notes may be printed freely for use in classrooms but may not be reproduced in any other format without the permission of the author.