Author: Peggy Rathmann

3-Year-Olds Storybooks

Good Night, Gorilla is a humorous wordless storybook. You and your child are sure to be amused by the mischievous antics of these zoo animals!

Before, During and After Reading

Letter Knowledge

Read the title of the book while tracing under the words with your finger. Point out the letter G in Good. Ask your child to touch each G she sees in the title.

Oral Language

Ask your child questions about the illustration on the cover of the book. For example, you might ask:

  • What do you see happening in the picture?
  • What animal do you see?
  • Who is the man with the flashlight? What do you think his job is?
  • What time of day do you think it is: daytime or nighttime? How do you know?
  • Why do you think the gorilla has his finger over his mouth?

Oral Language

This book is primarily a wordless book. The story is told through the pictures. There is no right or wrong way to tell the story. Just have fun with it!

As you move through the book, talk about the illustrations with your child. There are many interesting details in the illustrations that your child can find or that you can point out.

Ask questions. Here are some examples:

  • What animals do you see on these pages?
  • What do you think the gorilla is going to do with the keys?
  • Where are the animals going as they get out of their cages?
  • Why are these pages all black with two surprised eyes?
  • Who takes the animals back to the zoo?

Oral Language

Later in the day, or on another day, hand the book to your child for an animal hunt. Name an animal and ask your child to find it. You might even provide more information about each animal. For example:

Look through the book and find an elephant. There it is! Touch the elephant’s trunk. Did you know that the elephant uses its trunk to lift food and water into its mouth? What part of your body do you use to lift food to your mouth?

Can you find an armadillo? Armadillos have a hard bony plate like a shell that covers their bodies. Can you think of another animal that has a shell?

Beginning Writing

Next time you visit a zoo, take the book and some sticky notes with you. Each time you see an animal in the zoo, put a sticky note on the page in the book. When you get home, encourage your child to make her own good night animal book based on the animals she saw on her visit.

Explore more recommended children's books and at-home reading activities for three-year-olds, or take the Reading BrightStart! Preschool Reading Screener. The screener can help you determine if your child is on the path to reading readiness, and provides a free plan for moving forward.