“A Wish for Koko”

From the sadness of Koko’s passing comes a captivating new children’s book about hope and possibilityA Wish for Koko.

It is the story of young girl who learns about Koko and falls in love with her. Who dreams of meeting and signing with her, and inviting the extraordinary gorilla to her school. But just when her hopes are highest she learns the tragic truth about Koko. And the dream of a young girl is crushed.

But that is only the beginning. As he story unfolds, her dream is resurrected as a wish. And with the help of a teacher dedicated to Koko and her friends, it’s a wish that really can come true.

The book was created as a gift to the Gorilla Foundation by award-winning author and illustrator, Julie Brinckloe. It was produced in collaboration with the Foundation to honor Koko’s life and to promote her legacy of interspecies communication and preservation of the world’s endangered Great Apes.

The story is authentically brought to life by its players: a sensitive young girl and her family, along with her classmates and teacher in a school among the redwoods only minutes from Koko’s home. It is embellished with art for children and offers a powerful message for all ages. 

And, importantly, it envisions a path forward for all kids who would like one day to communicate with “Koko” — which is possible, as all gorillas are potentially Kokos — and provides an opportunity for them stay up to date on the Gorilla Foundation’s progress to make that dream a reality, by joining our new “Kids4Koko” team.

How to Get the Book

We’re currently offering A Wish for Koko only to Gorilla Foundation members.  When you make a donation, you’ll automatically receive the electronic (eBook/pdf) version, and have the option to receive a high-quality paperbound version by making a donation of $50 or more:



Your feedback on the book is particularly welcome, and we may incorporate it in future testimonials (with your permission) and educational books by The Gorilla Foundation.

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Stay tuned for a new kids’ feature on Koko.org that we’re calling “Kids4Koko.”

Kids4Koko is introduced in the book, A Wish for Koko, as a group of kids, teachers and schools dedicated to advancing Koko’s legacy of interspecies communication with great apes, and learning how to sign as an active show of support.

There’s even a cool Kids4Koko t-shirt that was designed by a boy who appears in the book, which we may make available for sale when the time is right.

If you, or your child, is interested in subscribing to Kids4Koko when it comes online, please email [email protected]g and we’ll keep you posted.


About the Author

Julie Brinckloe has published many books for young readers, including Fireflies!, Playing Marbles and A Stitch in Time for the Brothers Rhyme. She has illustrated stories by such noted authors as Art Buchwald, Claude Aubry and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Her art has appeared in Cricket and other magazines and was commissioned by Mister Rogers Neighborhood. She was awarded Parents Choice and Dr. Toy awards for her interactive children’s books to improve cognition. And she used her own character voice because “I’m a part of every story I write.” She has also worked as photo/videographer, and chose photographic art in A Wish for Koko “to bring a real story to life.”

Julie learned about Koko while employed as staff artist at McGraw-Hill in the early 1990’s. Profoundly moved, she vowed to support the Gorilla Foundation with donation and design—and now with a book, to honor and support Koko’s legacy.  She lives on the California Coastside with her dog, Yoshi, and her goldfish, Billy, Lilli and Smudge.