A Wish for Koko

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Thank You


This story needed inspired players to give it authenticity. I found them at La Honda Elementary School, a stone’s throw from where Koko lived her extraordinary life. And I found it in the spirited souls of Stella Machado and her family.

Principal Liz Morgan and teacher Brett Miller embraced Koko with open hearts, and the generous consent of parents paved the way for students to participate in the story.

Ms. Miller’s classroom was the creative, warm place I had envisioned. And her fourth and fifth grade students were the kids I’d crossed my fingers for. They lit up the story with exuberance, inspired by true affection for Koko and her friends.


I thank them all. And following the story they shall all be named.

I thank the San Francisco Zoo for permission to use my photographs taken at the Gorilla Preserve in this book.

I thank Koko’s lifetime photographer, Ron Cohn, for use of his brilliant, treasured photos of Koko, Penny and Michael.

I thank Dr. Gary Stanley, Chief Operating Officer of the Gorilla Foundation, for inspiring me to write this story.

And I thank Dr. Penny Patterson for devoting her radiant life to a gorilla named Koko, whose hands became a voice for all Great Apes by showing the world their bright and noble souls.


The Class at La Honda Elementary School that participated in A Wish for Koko (Stella Machado is first in line on the left)

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[ Cover, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 ]

Read About Koko & Friends