Watching all of the gorillas reminded me of one of my favorite books that I used to read with my son. When he was three this was his favorite book and we read it MANY times. He had it memorized and would read the whole thing to us. The book is Little Beauty by Anthony Browne.
I took it out the next afternoon to read to my three year old for the first time. He was very excited once we found the gorilla book. We read it four times before his nap. He wanted to keep reading it, but he definitely needed to take a nap, so I told him we could read it when he woke up.
This is the story of a gorilla who can use sign language to speak with the zookeepers. He asks them for a friend and they decide to give him a cat. They become best friends. Little Beauty and the gorilla do everything together...even go to the bathroom together. The pictures are fun and make the kids laugh. The best part is some pictures don't have any words and instead of reading we would just talk about what Little Beauty and the gorilla were doing. It also uses the words happy, sad, and angry a lot. The faces on the gorilla match very well with his feelings. My little guy practiced making happy, sad, and angry faces each time we read it.
A few days later we found a gorilla figurine and a small cat figurine. We played Little Beauty and the gorilla for about an hour. Of course, we had to add some Skylanders, dinosaurs, and Little Einsteins to the mix, but Little Beauty was always saved by the gorilla.
Movies are great and are sometimes a must after a really long week, but one that makes you want to read a book afterward is fantastic!