We share the planet with more than 200 species of primates. How do you even begin to scratch the surface on learning about them all? Plopping an encyclopedia of the world’s great apes into your child’s lap probably isn’t the best way to go about it-although I do own the World Atlas of Great Apes and Their Conservation and I must say it is fascinating. Before you take that leap however, try Going Ape! by Eduardo Bustos. It’s perfect for children who are just starting to learn about the animal kingdom and covers 10 of the intriguing primates that populate the earth.
So you’re child isn’t a budding Primatologist. That doesn’t mean they won’t find Going Ape interesting. They will, at the very least, think the Baboons are funny, what with their bright red rumps and all.
I highly doubt that will be the only thing to interest them though. The Baboon is only the first primate covered in this short info packed book. There’s Chimpanzee’s, Orangutans, Gorilla’s, Macaques, Mangabey’s…a plethora. And even though they might have normal colored rear ends, all of the primates are interesting, and it won’t take long for kids to crave more and more information about them.
The illustrations are done by Lucho Rodriguez. Honestly at first I wasn’t a huge fan of the illustrations. The gorilla had red eyes and that was a bit unnerving and the up close faces were just a bit…odd to me. But the second time I read the book, then the third, and then the fourth time, they began to grow on me. The pictures opposite the up close face portraits are very pleasant to look at, with a full body shot of the primate and a nice bit of greenery in the background.
They still aren’t my all-time favorite children’s book illustrations, but they are pretty neat and they do give a clear idea of what the primate’s face really looks like. When you think about it, there’s only so many ways to illustrate this book, and I think the manner in which it is done now works for it.
The text is a short paragraph underneath the name of the primate. Just a few sentences, it covers the basic information and an interesting fact or two. It’s quite simplified so children will be able to understand it clearly.
Would I Recommend It?
You’re thinking “This person has an atlas on the primates and their conservation; of course they’re going to recommend it.” And you’re right! I am bit of a nerd when it comes to animal stuff, and I love finding new books that open kids eyes up to the animal kingdom. Geared towards younger children, simple, interesting, and colorful, I think it’s a great book to try. Hopefully it will spike your child’s curiosity, and when they get to the age of say, seven, I have a great recommendation for their next book (I mean atlas) on primates.