Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 60


Picture Book: Koko’s Kitten

Author: Dr. Francine Patterson

Photographs by: Ronald H. Cohn

Summary: Koko, an amazing gorilla in an experimental communication program since the early 1970s, has not only mastered 2,000 or so words in American Sign Language (according to recent info.), but the art of loving as well. After communicating that she wanted a cat for her birthday, Koko is given a kitten who she names All Ball. This story records her anticipation and her loving relationship with All Ball including Koko’s obvious grief when All Ball is run over by a car. Eventually a new kitten, Lipstick, is found for Koko and a new loving relationship begins.

Hanna's Comments: More recent editions of this book will have up-dated information about Koko in the Author's Note and Preface. This author has a more general book about Koko and her abilities: Koko's Story. Koko has been a celebrity for decades so there is a great deal of information about her on the web, especially at www.koko.org. 

Publisher & Date of Publication: Scholastic, 1985                                         
Age and Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up                                          
# of Pages: 32                                                                                            
Available in Spanish? Not at present 

Formats other than Book: None at present, see videos of Koko on www.koko.org, a feature length video about Koko is available for purchase at Amazon.com and on Youtube.com

PBT Category: Non-fiction, Pre 2K

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: affection, animals, brokenness, death/loss/grief, depression/despair/sadness/sorrow, differences, the environment/nature, family, friends/friendship, loneliness, love, mothers, pacifism/peace/peaceful/peacemakers/peaceable kingdom, pets, wonder

Scripture Connections: Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth… (Job 35:11), Peaceable Kingdom (Isaiah 11:6)


Idea(s) for Application: Read this before you take your community’s children to the zoo. While at the zoo engage them in conversations about the mysteries of animal abilities, God’s creative imagination, and our responsibility as caretakers of the Earth’s creatures.