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The Boy and the Gorilla

Best Seller
The Boy and the Gorilla by Jackie Azúa Kramer
Hardcover $16.99
Oct 13, 2020 | ISBN 9780763698324

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  • Oct 13, 2020 | ISBN 9780763698324 | 4-8 years

    Also available from:

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Product Details

Praise

In the wake of Mom’s death, a gorilla helps a child process grief and open up to Dad so they may heal and find hope again together…The gorilla’s honest yet reassuring responses offer the child relief in the quest to understand. Feelings of hurt, confusion, isolation, and even resentment are acknowledged, but the gorilla’s gentle presence and wise responses help to recenter the soul…Derby’s flowing application of paint conjures a sea of emotions, and the paintings appear as if viewed through a wall of tears. Well-placed pops of bright color are both striking and uplifting. As father and child (both present White) hug, talk, and walk hand in hand under a sweeping sky, the gorilla fades into the distance. Luminous.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Kramer deftly controls the text, allowing touches of evocative language in the gorilla’s responses without losing the plainspoken groundedness of the boy’s questions and quintessential shock and pain. Derby…uses fluid, graceful, light-filled watercolors that prevent the story from becoming overheavy…The book tacitly addresses the problem bereaved kids struggle with—how to draw on your parent when your parent is grieving too—while walking youngsters gently but surely through both hard and comforting truths about loss. This is honesty with a feather touch, and both kids and adults will welcome the book’s artistry and compassionate candor.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)

Following a mother’s death, a gorilla lumbers slowly into the family’s house, then the garden, as grown-ups wearing somber colors disperse…Derby (Outside In) paints loose washes of quiet colors, with the gorilla’s solemn features and commanding presence drawing attention throughout. Kramer (The Green Umbrella) successfully walks a delicate line between foregrounding the boy’s sadness (“When will I feel better?”) and the gorilla’s miraculous presence.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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