When a whole class goes gorilla, they learn the importance of balancing passion and creativity with cooperation in this charmer of a picture book from the New York Times bestselling duo, Barbara Bottner and Michael Emberley.
The day Priscilla gets a book about gorillas, she instantly becomes obsessed. She dances like them, eats like them, and wears her gorilla costume 24–7! There are so many things to love about gorillas, but what Priscilla loves best is how they seem to always get their way.
So when Mr. Todd tells all his students to dress up like their favorite animal, Priscilla’s choice is obvious. But dancing around and beating her chest when it’s not her turn sends Priscilla straight to the Thinking Corner. She is of course outraged—nobody tells a gorilla what to do!—and as her attitude spreads, soon the thinking corner is full of her classmates. Is Priscilla really channeling her inner gorilla, or is she just a troublemaker in ape’s clothing?
In a funny, empathic, and refreshingly unsentimental take on childhood, the team behind Miss Brooks Loves Books (And I Don't) and other titles introduces Priscilla, a gorilla-obsessed first grader. Priscilla's passion goes far beyond a mastery of fun facts: gorillas "always get their way," she tells her mother, and this perceived ability to call the shots speaks deeply to Priscilla's independent spirit and skepticism of authority especially when that authority is her put-upon teacher, Mr. Todd. But Priscilla's silverback act soon starts taking its toll on the classroom so many peers emulate her that everyone ends up doing time in the euphemistically named Thinking Corner and something has to give. Emberley's watercolors, which channel the mischievous intelligence of Sendak, are wonderful at conveying personality through body language: a single drawing of Mr. Todd putting on his coat while announcing a field trip instantly communicates that this is a teacher with a solution to the Priscilla problem. And Priscilla, with her outsize confidence and (eventual) willingness to see a different perspective, is the perfect heroine for our times. Ages 4 7.