Story time is the best time of the day. Whether we're snuggled up on the couch or cozy in our pjs before bed, reading stories with my little ones is one of my favorite things to do. Everyone has a favorite book they remember from their childhood, and every day, parents and kids are discovering new classics of their own. There are many fabulous children's books out there, some of which everyone knows about and others we would have never discovered had my son not simply pulled a random book off a library shelf. I created this blog to share some of these wonderful stories with you. Think of it as a year's worth of the best children's books around, since no day should be without a great story. In the end, I hope we'll all have discovered at least a few new titles that will have made their way onto our list of family favorites. Enjoy!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Day 52: Goodnight Gorilla

While we're on the topic of great zoo books, I thought now would be a good time to feature one of our other favorites, Goodnight Gorilla.  It's not strictly a wordless picture book, but aside from the zookeeper saying "Goodnight" to his animal friends, it is up to the reader to tell the rest of the story.  The pictures, of course, do the job all on their own -- and an amazing one, at that -- but I always love seeing what my son thinks the characters are saying, from the sneaky gorilla who steals the zookeeper's keys to the zookeeper's wife who wakes to find her bedroom full of animals.  Each time we read it, we find different details in the pictures that we love, too:  the toys in the animals' cages, the photos on the wall, the mouse carrying the gorilla's banana.  And of course, we just love the silly ending.  For whatever reason, it took me a while to warm up to the idea of wordless picture books, but I love them now.  I think it just required a conscious shift in my reading perspective from that of an adult to that of a parent.  As adult readers, I think it's easy to forget that our children aren't focused on the words like we are; they are busy studying the pictures.  That's what makes a book like this one so fun.   See what your child notices in the illustrations, and better yet, have her tell you the story.  Chances are, she'll find things you never noticed on your own.


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