Picture Book Nook: One Gorilla – A Counting Book by Anthony Browne

As a kid I loved Anthony Browne’s Willy the Wimp books and The Piggy Book is one of my Mum’s favourites (and probably mother’s everywhere).  It wasn’t until I was older that I really appreciated his books for the illustrations, but once I did I was blown away by the magic that he could create in his pictures.  Anthony Browne has just released a new picture book that’s quite different from anything else he’s done before – a counting book.  But One Gorilla is a counting book like no other.

In One Gorilla children count from one to ten, while exploring the family of primates.  They’ll meet Chimpanzees, Baboons, Gibbons and Colobus Monkeys.  As well as teaching children about numbers, Anthony conveys the message that we’re all alike and members of the same big family, so we have to protect these wonderful animals.

One Gorilla is an eye-catching book, with a big gorilla face smiling at you on the front cover.  The most wonderful thing about this book is that Anthony has given each of the primates a different personality.  Even on the page with 10 Lemurs, no one Lemur is alike.  Each Lemur has a different expression, slightly different colouring, and different shaped heads.  So even though, like humans, they’re the same species, every one is different.  I love the page with the Chimpanzees because you can see every wrinkle of their skin and every hair on their chin, and the adult is looking right at you.  The very last page is fascinating, because you can stare at all the human faces and match them up with a primate from the previous pages.  I can imagine that children will have great fun doing this too.  I also love Anthony Browne’s self-portrait because it’s incredibly life-like.

One Gorilla is a counting book that children young and old can enjoy, and it’s a book that fans of Anthony Browne should absolutely have in their collection.

5 out of 5 stars

100 Things by Masayuki Sebe – a counting book with a difference

100 Things by Masayuki Sebe is a counting book crossed with a look-and-find book.  On each page there are 100 things (as the title suggests), including 100 moles, 100 sheep, 100 fish and 100 cars.  Not only can you count the things on each page, but you can find all the things that are the same colour (how many green fish?), find the odd one out (where is the child wearing the hat?) and find specific things on the page (find the elephant holding a pineapple or the mole who’s farting).

The vibrant colours, the simple, child-like pictures, and the amusing details on each page make 100 Things stand out.  It’s the perfect book to share with children, especially on a cold Winter’s day when you’re stuck inside.

100 Things and Dinosaurs Galore (also by Masayuki Sebe) are published by the wonderful Gecko Press, the home of curiously good books from around the world.