Resourceful Girl and exuberant Gorilla navigate their way through a venturesome day.
Gorilla would like to play on the moon, but Girl suggests the park. They set off on her red two-wheeler, Gorilla’s bum wedged outlandishly in its basket. Quickly off-balance (go figure), they crash into a trash can, scuttling the bike ride. Bereft, Gorilla asks, “How can we get to the park? How can we play?” Girl begins, “We can—” only to be interrupted by helpful Gorilla, who’s always ready with an imaginative (if impractical) idea. “We can hopscotch to the park!” So it goes, as they (following Girl’s excellent suggestion) “walk and think and think and walk.” Like the extra-large toddler that he is, Gorilla’s wild suggestions are prompted by what he sees and imagines as they go. Spying a kite snagged in a tree, he says, “ ‘We can be kites and fly to the park!’ / ‘We don’t have any string,’ says Girl. / ‘We could use my tail!’ says Gorilla. / ‘You don’t have a tail,’ says Girl.” Walton’s dialogue-rich treatment, with its repetitive structure and simple words, promises double duty as both practice for emergent readers and giggle-inducing read-aloud. Berger’s digital compositions render a retro-hip cityscape; Girl’s bemusement and Gorilla’s roller-coaster emotions come across as both cartoonish and sweetly expressive.
Text and art play well together here—just as well as Girl and Gorilla do. (Picture book. 4-8)