When the animals visit Little Sam Sundae's ice cream shop on Jellybean Street they have some unusual requests. Sam whips up a blue cheese sundae for Mouse and a worm cornet for Hen. Finally, it's Gorilla's turn to order but all he wants is plain old vanilla. Licking their lips, the other animals realise that Gorilla has made the best choice, after all. Luckily for them, gorillas love sharing!
Since getting Gorilla Loves Vanilla to review 2 weeks ago it has become a favourite in my house. My daughters (6 and 7 3/4 years) are both reluctant readers but their eyes light up when they see this book. We have read it so many times that they can now both read it independently. I provide homebased childcare and the children ranging from 1 1/2 to 5 years old all love it too. Good thing the big kids can read it to them they get home from school.Whenever anyone comes to visit us one of the children (either big or small) will take the book out to show them.
The story is written in clever rhyme about the different ice creams the animals get at Sam's Sundaes. The whole book appeals to the children from the sprinkles and jellybeans on the end pages through to simple fact it is a story about animals eating ice cream. What is there not to love really.
There are a couple of morals in this story. Firstly that everyone has different tastes and what appeals to you might not appeal to everybody but that's OK. The other is don't be afraid to try new foods, you might just like it. After reading this book I am keen to read more book from Chae Strathie. They are sure to delight us all.
The title and cover of this book grabbed my kids attention very quickly. The combination of the shiny title, the kind looking gorilla and the mountain of ice-cream are a winner. We enjoyed sharing this book with two of our younger nephews. They both adored the book, just like our own children did. We read it many times with the children over the long weekend together.
The illustrations are fabulous and very detailed. Jellybean Street reminded me of the town the I grew up in as it has lots of little shops all joined together. Sam's Sundaes is on Jellybean Street and Sam makes amazing icecream. Inside the shop reminded me of an old style shop with jars of lollies behind the counter. The lovely memories of my childhood!!
When reading the book, it was a chance to play around with the voice that each animal might use to talk with. The kids and I had to decide whether each animal should have a deep voice or a high voice. It was a fun time to experiment with sounds and voices. There are plenty of examples of 'juicy' words in the book - scrumptious, squirmy and revolting. As a teacher and a parent, I always enjoy a book that extends children's vocabulary. As we read the book the kids worked out that there was a lovely phrase which is repeated over and over. As they became familiar with it, they started to read that part along with me. "It sounded quite sinky, but Sam didn't blink - He rustled up cheesy ice cream in a wink." There were slight variations on this phrase and the kids picked it up quickly.
Each animal had different tastes when it comes to the type of ice-cream they liked. The kids and I chatted about the fact that people have all sorts of different preferences and needs when it comes to food. Acceptance of the differences we find in people of the world makes it an exciting place to be. Sam is the type of person I would like to encourage my children to be like. He is accepting of all the other characters in the book, even if their requests are not what he would like for himself. Both of my kids seemed quite accepting of the random flavours and they didn't even make any comments about them during the reading of the book!!
The final page in the book is brilliant. In order to fit the full illustration on the page, it has been made into a double page spread. The kids thought it was so funny that I had to turn to book to read the page. Their eyes just about popped out of their heads when they saw the size of the ice-cream! It was only when a friend looked at the back cover of the book that she noticed a warning on it. It was in very small print. "Warning: this book contains nuts (and sweets, and sprinkles, and chocolate drops). Please consume ice cream responsibly as part of a balanced diet. Recommended daily intake for gorillas is 20 scoops, children may need less". This was a very clever addition to the book and something for the adults to enjoy! I really appreciated the humour!
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