- Published: Jul 2016
- ISBN: 9781925360219
- RRP $24.95
What a joyous feel-good book this is! I suppose to be honest I wasn’t expecting a book from Magabala to be about a gorilla in Rio – but why not?!
Steve is a gorilla and he lives in a zoo in Rio. His favourite person is his keeper Antonio and both of them just love to listen to jazz in the evenings. One night after Antonio has left Steve feels lonely so decides to go looking for his friend. Of course he knows he will need a disguise and luckily picks up a hat at the tram stop outside the zoo. Off he goes through the lively city, past the favelas and over the hillside and is thrilled to find shimmying sequined dancers and exploding fireworks in the city streets. It’s Feliz Carnaval he hears the sambistas cry out.
Following the sound of a saxophone Steve finds his friend Antonio playing at the Blue Jaguar Club and Steve is swept onto the dance floor by a beautiful dancer. As they spin and swirl, Steve’s hat falls off – oh no! and everyone can see he is a gorilla. Calmly the dancer puts his hat back on and off they go again, dancing till dawn.]
This is a riot of colour, shapes, lines and textures all of which combine to produce exactly the right exuberance of a city in the grip of its most colourful celebration. Joshua’s fascination with both gorillas and Brazil was the germ of this story which has taken some years to produce in collaboration with Robyn. It’s a technicolour dream that comes alive on the page – in a beautifully presented book.
It is well worth the wait and what a fabulous way to introduce young readers to another culture! (particularly with the Rio Olympics coming up!)
Highly recommended for readers from Prep upwards.