Monday, July 29, 2013

Good Night, Gorilla: Lovable Children's Text or Tale of Horror?

This afternoon I settled into an over-sized comfy chair with my daughter to share one of my favorite books with her- Good Night, Gorilla. I love teaching this book. It's so fun to watch kids giggle as the sneaky animals, and it is one of those books that all kids can access. The simple text lends itself to teaching reading strategies like checking the picture and using one to one correspondence when reading. It's also a great story for kids to retell and act out.

Little Lipstick has been on a zoo animal kick lately so I was sure she would love those sneaky animals. In fact, in the beginning of the story she did love it. She giggled and whispered "shhhh!" to keep the zoo keeper from realizing that all the animals were sneaking out of the zoo. Yet as the story began to take shape and she realized what was happening she became a bit more apprehensive.

The animals were leaving the zoo.

The animals were in the house.

OMG the animals were in BED with the zoo keeper and his wife. In the DARK. Where the poor sleeping family had no idea that a huge gorilla was sleeping IN THE BED.

Little Lipstick freaked out. "NO, NO, NO, NO," she mumbled while she sucked harder on her paci. She slammed the book shut and buried her head into my shoulder.


Guess it hadn't occurred to me that Good Night, Gorilla could actually be read as a horror story- the animals rising up against the zoo keeper, sneaking into their house and sleeping in their bed without the humans even realizing it. In the pitch black, no less, when it is already ridiculously scary at night anyway. The idea of waking up to a gorilla in my bed isn't overly pleasant, I have to admit.

I'm a bit worried that tonight might be a rough one. I hope we don't wake up at 2am with screams of "GLILLA! GLILLA!"

No comments: