Molly's Reviews

The Day the Zoo Came to Visit
James DD Smith
Illustrator: Stina Brown
Xenopus Books
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Interesting read ... Recommended ... 5 stars

Janey and Jamie went to the zoo. After returning home the kids hear a knock on the door. What a surprise awaits the pair: the zoo has come to them.

Writer Smith has produced a nicely done book meant for children ages 4-8. Large, brightly colored illustration and alliterative rhyming text make "The Day the Zoo Came to Visit" a sure favorite for the younger set. Animals tumble over one another in alphabetical order as they invade the house. I especially enjoyed the expressions of surprise, surprise and surprise depicted on the faces of Janey's fuzzy bunny slippers as the various zoo critters traipse about. Illustrator Brown has a keen, child pleasing technique.

Dilemma faces Janey and Jamie as they struggle with how to rid themselves of their unwanted guests. Janey's solution is well done, opens avenue for parent or teacher guided discussion as to what to do with surprise guests, what children might do in unusual situation and the like.

From a teacher standpoint I am pleased to see the animal sizes are kept in perspective, so often children's books ignore all reality and offer hippo, moose and newt all approximately the same size. Faces and actions of the animals depicted are child pleasing, but are not embellished with 'human' expression.

"The Day the Zoo Came to Visit" is sure to prove a valuable asset to the school and home library. The work is a read to for the youngest set as parent and child cuddle for reading time before the little ones aged 3-4 prepare for nap or bed time. Except for very polished readers "The Day the Zoo Came to Visit" is a read with help for the 5-7s. Eight and Nines will enjoy reading the book for themselves, or reading to little brothers and sisters.

A glossary of more unusual animal names is included. A word to the adults page offers teaching suggestions for parents to use as they guide their children's reading toward noticing alphabet, alliterative words, hidden illustrations and the like.

This is a book I would use in my own Kindergarten/First Grade Classroom.

And it is one I will use today with my Developmentally Disabled Adult clients.

Nicely done, happy to recommend.





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2005 by Molly Martin