Zoo gorillas aren’t lazy slugabeds—the secret revealed!
At this zoo, the great apes come at the end, and kids are usually happy to ride on past. “They claim apes are dull. They say, ‘Apes are boring!’ / ‘This one is yawning! And this one is snoring!’ ” After the humans are gone though, the gorillas get up and have a giant feast, capped with a marshmallow roast. Then zookeeper Jungle Jed shoos them to bed…but they don’t stay there. The record albums come out, and the dance-floor lights flash. “Some tango, some Charleston, / one does the fox-trot. / But Baby is old school: / he does the robot!” (Caregivers may find this construction of “old school” mystifying.) Jungle Jed shuts them down, but the sneaky simians resume their party once he’s gone. Jed breaks up their conga line by shaking his fist…and then the rhythm gets him; everyone dances until dawn! Wensink’s first book for children would be just another zoo-after-dark rhyme were it not for Wragg’s bright, bold acrylics. Goofy, grinning gorillas getting their grooves on cavort across the pages. The jewel-toned, full-bleed illustrations resemble cutouts and have charisma to spare.
Little ones will enjoy these jammie-clad jams, though the book may inspire more dancing than snoozing. (Picture book. 2-5)