speech and language teaching concepts for Good Night, Gorilla in speech therapy​ ​
Frequent Speech Sounds:

/z/ initial (zoo, zookeeper)
/g/ initial (gorilla)
/r/ medial (gorilla, giraffe)
/l/ medial (gorilla and balloon)
/k/ medial (zookeeper)
/s/ final (mouse)
/d/ final
/t/ final



Book Details:
Diverse Characters: N/A
Age Recommendation: Early Childhood

Goodnight, Gorilla

By Peggy Rathmann

Good night, Gorilla.
Good night, Elephant.

It’s bedtime at the zoo, and all the animals are going to sleep. Or are they? Who’s that short, furry guy with the key in his hand and the mischievous grin?
Good night, Giraffe.
Good night, Hyena.

This fun zoo-themed early childhood book can be used in speech therapy to notice sequencing and predicting. With its repetitive text, it can be great for increasing MLU and engaging young readers. It is also great for targeting /g/, /d/, /l/, /t/, and many more! Discover more of the speech and language teaching concepts for using Good Night, Gorilla in speech therapy below: 

Key Teaching Concepts

Narrative Structure:

action sequence
nearly wordless

Narrative Concepts:

illustration study
text features
character analysis
repetitive text


order of telling the animals good night


good night, gorilla, zoo, elephant, zookeeper, house

Character Analysis:

Gorilla is being sneaky. He steals the zookeeper’s keys and tiptoes behind the zookeeper while he says “good night” to the gorilla’s animal friends. The gorilla, then proceeds to quietly let out each animal friend and they all follow the zookeeper quietly back to his bedroom. Later, the wife returns the animals back to the zoo, but somehow the gorilla manages to escape again and sneak his way back into the zookeeper’s bedroom and falls asleep. He seems to have a friendship with the zookeeper and his wife due to the photo on their bedside table. He also has a friendship with mouse who is always by gorilla’s side.


WH questions (who, what, and where)

here are a few examples:
Who is following the gorilla?
What is the gorilla holding?
Where is gorilla sleeping?

Text Features:

speech bubbles
size of text


What animal will the zookeeper tell “good night” to next?
Where are the animals following the zookeeper to?
Where is the zookeeper’s wife taking the animals?