Features, Reviews

Kiddo’s Corner Reviews: The Secret Lives of Gorillas by Julia Barnes


Kiddo’s Corner Reviews is my new feature here at The Overstuffed Bookcase, where my 6-year-old son reviews children’s books!

Want to know more about Kiddo’s Corner Reviews? Go here to find out more!

The Secret Lives of Gorillas
Written by: Julia  Barnes
Published by: Gareth Stevens Publishing
Published: 2007
Where we got it: Checked it out from the local library

This series takes readers into the wild to discover the secret lives of six fascinating animals. Students will learn how each animal sees the world, how its physical characteristics are ideally suited to its habitat, how it communicates, how it interacts with other animals and with people, what a typical day in the wild is like, and many other interesting facts. Each book features:
– Text correlated to elementary science curriculum standards for life science
– Descriptions of each animal’s habitat, physical features, life cycle, social structure, and daily life
– A map showing the animal’s current range
– Full-color photographs of the animal in its natural habitat
– Explanations of current and historical threats to each animal’s existence, including threats to its habitat
– Glossary (Cover and synopsis from Goodreads.)

First Thoughts…

Me: So why did you check this book out from the library?

Kiddo: Because I have a report at my school about an animal that you can’t tame, or you can’t have in a fenced yard. So it can’t be cats or dogs. So it has to be a wild animal. So I chose gorillas. I really wanted to pick cheetahs, but at the same time I wanted to pick gorillas, so I picked gorillas.

A Bit More Detail…

Me: What is this book about?

Kiddo: It’s about gorillas. What gorillas do and how they live and what they can do, like do sign language. Like Koko! (Mom, put an exclamation point there, after Koko.)

Me: What did you learn?

Kiddo: I learned that gorillas can do sign language, and they beat their chests if they’re trying to scare another gorilla away.

Me: What else did you learn?

Kiddo: They do the knuckle walk. They make fists and put their fists on the ground and walk.
Me: What was your favorite part?

Kiddo: My favorite part was learning the different sounds that they make.

Me: What was your least favorite part?

Kiddo: When they get angry with each other.

Final Thoughts…

Me: So do you think you’ve learned a lot to use in your report?

Kiddo: Yeah. And for the stars, just 1 to 300 stars, I’d give it 300!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (He added all the exclamation points.)

Me: Why 300?

Kiddo: Because I like gorillas so much, and that was a great book to learn about gorillas. That’s just my opinion, and it might be someone else’s opinion, or it might not be.

Me: Anything else?

Kiddo: I really like the photos, and the facts are really cool. Because they tell you what gorillas really can do.

The Verdict…
Andrea’s Note: The kiddo and I read this book together, but I primarily read it to him. There was one part that talked about the fate of many infant gorillas at the hands of older, male gorillas, and I chose not to read that part to him. He is only 6, and he still gets upset about a lot of things, and I didn’t want to upset him or give him nightmares. Other than that, this was a great informative book about gorillas for any age.

The kiddo gave The Secret Lives of Gorillas by Julia Barnes 300 stars. I’m going to convert that to my 1-5 star scale and give it:
4 stars between the two of us. I think it’s a good and informative book for kids who like gorillas, but I’m sure there are more informative ones out there. But this was perfect for his report, and just for learning more about gorillas, since he really does like gorillas a lot.
Disclaimer: We checked this book out from our local library. We were in no way compensated for this review.

1 Comment

  1. Kate Midnight Book Girl

    May 19, 2016 at 11:50 am

    These reviews crack me up and warm my heart at the same time! And I totally agree with you on not reading the part about what happens to some of the baby gorillas- I am still traumatized by certain nature documentaries I watched as a little kid.

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