The Boy and the Gorilla

The Boy and the Gorilla is a beautiful children’s story that will tug at your heart strings. A story that gently depicts  the tender relationship between a young boy mourning his mother as he finds a path to healing. Articulated with words and illustrations perfectly. A powerful story in the talk of loss.” – Momma Braga


On the day of his mother’s funeral, a young boy conjures the very visitor he needs to see: a gorilla. Wise and gentle, the gorilla stays on to answer the heart-heavy questions the boy hesitates to ask his father: Where did his mother go? Will she come back home? Will we all die? Yet with the gorilla’s friendship, the boy slowly begins to discover moments of comfort in tending flowers, playing catch, and climbing trees. Most of all, the gorilla knows that it helps to simply talk about the loss – especially with those who share your grief and who may feel alone, too.


The Boy and the Gorilla truly tugged at my heart strings as I read the story to my daughter. It opened up more dialogues in the conversation of loss. We loved the questions the little boy asked as they are very common questions that children do ask. But sometimes as adults we may not know how to answer them as they can be tough ones for us. However, the Gorilla answers them beautifully and so simple.

In this story, the Gorilla helps this young boy find the path to healing through their shared grief and bond. This path leads the young boy to talk to his father where they both can bond and heal together. Just absolutely perfect! The author and illustrator did a superb job in articulating with words and illustrations on the toughest topic; loss.

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give this book 10+++ hearts out of 5! Loss has always been a hard topic for many and one that is comforting to see in children’s literature. I truly believe this story is one that will help children better understand and will start the toughest dialogue that we as parents may be uncomfortable with. Nikki truly enjoyed this story and the answers comforted her. We have had a loss in our lives this year and we used this book to help her better understand. It did just that and Nikki knows that those special people who are no longer with us, are always in our hearts.

“When will I feel better? When you know she’s still with you.”

If you would like to purchase this heartfelt story, click here. The age recommendation is four to eight on this book.

About the Author

Jackie Azua Kramer is the author of The Green Umbrella and If You Want to Fall Asleep. She was previously an actress, singer, and school counselor. Jackie Azua Kramer lives with her family in Long Island, New York.

About the Illustrator

Cindy Derby is the author-illustrator of How to Walk an Ant and the illustrator of the poetry collection Climbing Shadows by Shannon Bramer. Before she was an illustrator, she went to theater school and performed all over the world as a puppeteer. Cindy Derby lives in San Francisco.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*Please note that this book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own. We do not make commission off of book sales.

Leave a Reply