HarperTrophy, 2003 (2000)
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
earn all about man's closest genetic relatives in this informative picture book, from whose forested pages, wise gorilla eyes peer curiously out at us. The photographs of gorilla family units are remarkable and the eyes speak. This book is aimed at ages 5 and up.
he author begins by debunking Hollywood gorilla myths, telling us that they are really '
shy, secretive animals
' and introduces their three subspecies - western lowland, eastern lowland and mountain gorillas (the largest and rarest of the three types). He explains to us the similarities and differences between our bodies and those of gorillas, such as their bigger stomachs to handle all the plants they eat, and their fingerprints which look like a bigger version of our own.
f course, it's fascinating to read about baby gorillas and how they compare to human infants; like us they play a lot. Family units are covered - they are headed by a silverback, and typically have five to ten members - as well as regular daily activities such as grooming and belching (yes, really) together. The author finishes by telling us about scientists who have studied gorillas and about the survival prospects of these creatures who share 98% of their DNA with us.
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