• Picture Book Snob

Our favourite gorilla stories for World Gorilla Day


It was World Gorilla Day on Friday and to celebrate, here are our favourite gorilla stories.

I've only managed to review three so far, The Pet, When the Sky Falls and I Don't Know What to Call My Cat (I know the name suggests otherwise, but trust me, there's a gorilla in there!). The others I haven't gotten to yet, Little Beauty, Goodnight Gorilla and Gorilla, are utterly brilliant too. As they are classics, most people are probably already familiar with them. I thought they were still worth sharing here as they're among our best-loved books and if you're new to them, you can read a short description below.

The Pet by Catherine Emmett and David Tazzyman is an utterly hilarious cautionary tale about the dangers of being too greedy and not appreciating, or caring for, what you already have. Read our review...


When the Sky Falls by Phil Earle is a middle grade novel centring on London Zoo during World War II. Adonis the gorilla is one of the most memorable fictional characters I've ever met and this is one of the most moving books I've ever read. Read our review...

I Don't Know What to Call My Cat by Simon Philip and Ella Bailey is so much fun and features the most mischievous and rebellious fictional gorilla since Richard Scarry's Bananas Gorilla. Read our review...

I love everything by Anthony Browne but Little Beauty is one of my favourites. This is a bitter-sweet masterpiece about a female gorilla in captivity and her pet kitten. The story is inspired by the real-life Koko who communicated through sign language loved cats.



If bedtime is chaotic in your house, then you'll relate to Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathman! This takes place in a zoo after dark when a resourceful little primate gets hold of the master key. The phrase 'Goodnight...' is repeated throughout the text so it's ideal for winding down, even if there will be lots of laughter.


Gorilla by Anthony Browne is one of our most-read stories and another poignant picture book from an absolute master. This features a lonely little girl with either a powerful imagination or a magical toy gorilla that becomes real. As it's set in the '80s, it's like looking at my own childhood, but my kids have no nostalgic attachment to this era and love the story regardless. Enjoy this content? Please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and share with fellow picture book fans!