The Gorilla Who Wanted to Grow Up

Read by: Maureen Lipman
BBC Audio
RRP: 5.99
ISBN 1 8460 7179 8
Available 03 July 2006

Pongo is a mischievous baby gorilla who lives in the mountains of Africa. He has long glossy black hair and a black shiny nose, and he walks on the knuckles of his hands. As playful as can be, he swings from jungle creepers and climbs in and out of trees. He wants to grow up to be brave and clever like his dad, and perhaps even become leader of the pack one day. But it is not until his little sister, Whoopsie, is born that Pongo discovers that growing up isn't just about having a silver back and a big chest to thump...

The Gorilla Who Wanted to Grow Up by Jill Tomlinson is an entertaining story. It follows the life of young Pongo and his woop (see, I know my correct technical term for a collective of gorillas). Pongo wants to be just like his dad, who is the head of the woop, but he's still got a bit of growing up to do. But, when his mother gives birth to his baby sister, Whoopsie, Pongo has a taste of looking after another Gorilla - something his father is most impressed with. In fact, he's so impressed, that he decides that it's time that Pongo started to learn how to look after the woop, so that he can one day take his rightful place as its head.

Along the way we are introduced to Pongo's friend - who he is always play fighting with - and a human who spends a lot of time following the gorillas in their natural habitat. This aspect is interesting as the listener gets to experience the existence of humans from a Gorilla's perspective.

This tale is read by Maureen Lipman, who has a bright and engaging delivery - which is essential to keep young minds focused on the story. She gives each of the main characters their own voices, which really helps to sell this as an entertaining tale.

This CD will not only entertain the smallest member of your family, but any adults who care to listen to it will also be mesmerised.

Amber Leigh

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