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Gorilla! Gorilla!    by Jeanne Willis & Tony Ross order for
Gorilla! Gorilla!
by Jeanne Willis
Order:  USA  Can
Atheneum, 2006 (2006)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This exciting picture book quest begins, 'A mother mouse's baby has gone missing.' Of course, mommy mouse searches frantically for her baby - up the mountain and down again, and all over the rainforest - but she can't find him. Can things get worse? Yes, they can ... 'a great, big, hairy, scary ape' jumps out at her! '"Gorilla! Gorilla!"' she squeaks, as she runs for her life.

It's quite an epic. The little mouse flees all the way to China, to America, to Australia (by submarine), and to the Arctic - followed all the time by that 'killer gorilla' bellowing to her to stop. Everywhere she goes, she tells the animals she encounters, 'He'll squash me and scratch me, / He'll mince me and mash me, / And crunch me up for lunch!' If she's right, that gorilla is sure going a long, long way for a small, small snack. But of course, she's not right, and when the gorilla catches up with her, he asks, 'Who were you running from, Mouse?'

Jeanne Willis tells a very engaging tale, in Gorilla! Gorilla!, one whose funny side is brought out by Tony Ross's antic illustrations (I love his scatty mother mouse and wonderfully kind and bemused gorilla eyes) Kids will enjoy the chase and feel for both the little mouse and the mighty gorilla who's after her, while adults will appreciate the lessons about the trouble fear can lead to, and the dangers of judging by appearances - important lessons for the modern world.

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