Title: Little Beauty
Author/Illustrator: Anthony Brown
Publisher: Candlewick, $19 CND
Publication Date: 2008
For ages: 3+
Type: Picture Book
The story begins with a gorilla that communicates only with sign language. He has everything he ever wanted, except the gorilla is lonely. One day, the gorilla signed to his keepers: I want a friend. The keepers give the gorilla a kitten named Beauty. Beauty and the gorilla do everything together! One day, gorilla gets very angry while watching a program on television and smashes it. The keepers threaten to take Beauty away from gorilla – until Beauty steps in and takes the blame for the damage. And the two live happily ever after.
The story is geared towards children three years of age and older; however, I read this book to a group of two year olds and they were glued to the book. The pictures are simple and engaging. I even had a little girl recognize that Beauty and the gorilla’s faces are embedded in some of the rose images. Although I would recommend this book for a friendship storytime theme, I do not like the idea of promoting the theme of “lying for a friend.” Little Beauty does tug on the heart strings of adults. A must have for a library collection.