Gorilla by Anthony Browne!
Anthony Browne's children's book, Gorilla, is a fantastic picture fairy tale with surreal content in hyper-realistic pictures. Hannah is a gorilla lover, and her hobbies are drawing gorillas, reading gorilla books, and watching gorilla videos. But She has never seen a real gorilla. Because her dad is so busy with work that he doesn't have time to go to the zoo with her. Maybe, Hannah has no mother, so she has to play alone in her room constantly.
Instead, Dad presents Hannah with a gorilla doll. That night, the doll turns into a real gorilla and takes Hannah to the zoo.
The picture below is similar to my daily life as a child. A father who usually plays well and loves his children, opens a large newspaper like this in the morning and reads it with a blunt expression. These days, we prefer to read the news on iPad or mobile phone rather than the newspaper.
When I look at the picture below, I sometimes reflect on whether I have ever been so absorbed in my work that I have made my daughter lonely. However, the end result is that she always stand up like this and start painting together.
Anthony Browne's Gorilla has made him a world-class artist and writer. When you look at the gorilla, you can see the details of each fur and the realistic gorilla's mean but lovely expression, so you can see why the gorilla is his trademark.
And humor is always hidden in this author's books. When the gorilla takes Hannah to the zoo, it reminds me of the King Kong movie chimpanzees taking Jane from the trees.
The expressions of the gorillas in the zoo are different from each other. That expression is described in various shapes such as curiosity, sadness, boredom, longing, etc.
And at first glance, it looks like a mischievous gorilla, but the expression of a sad looking gorilla trapped in a zoo is in his eyes. He wants to play with Hannah, but it seems to represent the life of his father and his expression, who have to work for a living.
So Hannah and the gorilla go to the zoo, watch a movie, eat out dinner, and then go home. The picture below overlaps twice because the gorilla was wearing his father's clothes. In other words, we can find out that his father had symbolized him as a gorilla.
Anthony Brown was born on September 11, 1946 in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England. Influenced by his father, who was very interested in art, he started drawing at a young age, and in 1963, he entered Leeds College of Art and studied art. After graduating from school, he worked as a medical illustrator for drawing the human body and surgical scenes, honing his miniaturization techniques using watercolors, which are characteristic of his paintings.
After working as a card designer for 15 years, he was encouraged by friends and co-workers to paint for children's picture books. This is the first book of his drawings, published by Hamilton Press in 1976. For <Gorilla> published in 1983 and <The Zoo> published in 1992, she won the Kate Greenaway Award, the prestigious British picture book award, twice.
He made his debut as a picture book writer when he reached the stage of maturity as an illustrator, but it is said that he was concerned about the subject matter and the level of children's eyes. The world of his work changes based on <Gorilla> published in 1983, and he tried to make a picture book that people living in the same age can relate to rather than at the level of children.
“The reason I am particularly attached to gorillas is because their eyes resemble human eyes. In fact, before I started painting, I couldn't even tell the difference between a gorilla and a monkey. Drawings help you to observe objects closely. Of course, there are personal reasons as well. Gorilla reminds me of my father. My father, who died when I was 17, was a gentle but scary man who loved sports and had a strong body."
Another reason he was obsessed with gorillas and chimpanzees is that he was very impressed with the movie King Kong, which he saw as a child. The iconic character, Willy, is a shabby chimpanzee who is dwarf, timid, and doesn't seem to be very good at it. Anthony Brown, through Willy, shows how valuable it is to live a life of self-satisfaction without regard to the prejudices and neglect of the world, although a little lacking. A character that appears as often as a chimpanzee in his work is a gorilla.
Anthony Brown says that the reason he does his work is that he loves people. His early works were rather heavy and socially critical and skeptical, but his recent works allow you to see and feel the world and people in a warm and comfortable way. Anthony Brown once said, 'Through picture books, I hope that all children can be happy by pointing out the feelings of alienation and conflict with adults through picture books.' Through picture books, he expresses the very basic wish that true happiness resides in all families and that children can grow up brightly.
The author's warm heart for people, especially children, and her strong heart to live in the world with a bright mind by sublimating the difficult memories of losing her father as a child into a gorilla seems to be evident in the book, Gorilla.
Reading a book called Gorilla, it seems that the father is always busy or tired and does not have time to play with his daughter. This is probably a realistic view of our daily life. However, he does not forget his daughter's birthday and places her favorite gorilla in front of the door. The next day, after Hannah had a wonderful dream, she was confident enough to not have to go to the zoo to see the gorillas anymore. One day, her father suggests that she go to the zoo. If you look closely, you can see a banana in his father's pocket. You can see that the gorilla who took Hannah to the zoo last night and to the movie theater with her because of hard work was actually the father.
As I read this book, I thought a lot about my father who passed away. Even though my father was always busy and tired, I know well that his love for me has never changed and tired. I hope this book will allow you to discover the love and sincerity of a father, and to talk about how people live and how to love.
Myungja Anna Koh