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Dear Zoo: Lift the Flaps - Rod Campbell

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Genre: Junior Books / Author: Rod Campbell / Edition: New Ed / Pop-Up / 8 Pages / Book is published 1997-10-24 by Campbell Books

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    28 Reviews
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      06.08.2013 14:48
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      Lovely book to own

      This hard board book was around when I was a child published in 1982 it hasn't aged at all.
      One of my nephews gave this book to my little boy about a year ago and it's been a firm favourite since.
      This book has hard board pages but is filled with flaps inside revealing animals throughout the story. The illustrations are accurate to the animals, bold and eye catching

      The book is based on a zoo sending a series of animals you the reader they keep sending unsuitable animals i.e. / grumpy camel, scary snake, naughty monkey until they finally send the perfect animal - A puppy!!
      My 2 year old boy really enjoys this interactive book and will often get it to read through with me. He knows all the animals and the noises and loves opening the flaps to reveal the animals. He has no trouble in opening the flaps now but struggled about a year ago as the flap are set into the book and all open is a different way. He just didn't get it.
      A few flaps have been bend but nothing bad considering my little boy is abit heavy handed with books.

      Dear Zoo can be brought off Amazon in a few different formats Hardback with flaps - £3.00, Noisy book - £8.96, Paperback - 7.50. Personally I would buy this book rather than hire it form the library. That way you don't have to worry as much about the damaged caused.

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      09.04.2013 05:56
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      Kai's favourite book.

      Even though Kai has never shown very much much interest in books, I am always buying new ones for him, especially animal based books. I was actually given this book by my friend, and had tried showing it to him before, thinking he would like the bright, clear pictures (well, drawings) of the zoo animals, and he was having none of it.

      However last weekend after I left it on the floor he brang it to me and literally threw it in my face, so I decided to sit him with me and show him it and to my disbelief he actually sat still, listened to me reading it, and looked carefully at the pictures and watched as I showed him how to pull the flaps up. A miracle!!

      Dear Zoo is an illustrated book which is all about somebody writing to the zoo to send them a pet, and he is sent a range of animals which is a little amusing but I definitely don't think a child of Kai's age understands the subtle humour of the silliness of someone thinking they can have a zoo animal as a pet.

      Some pages just have words and some have a picture and a couple of words. The font is easy for me to read from a bit of a distance as its quite large so if kai is on my knee or laid on me and I have the book at arms length then I am still able to read it, which is good as i do suffer quite a bit with my eyesight due to being both long and short sighted.

      The are sixteen pages which is just the right amount for my fourteen month old, any longer and I think he'd find it too repetitive. Kai loves lifting the flaps of this book and he gets beyond excited when he sees what's inside, the first time I showed him how to do it he looked so confused and copied me, and now he is obsessed with lifting the flaps! When I say the animals name it doesn't have much effect but if I point to the picture and ask Kai what animal is after telling him he will say 'aaaah' (lion) or 'oof oof!' (monkey, lol).

      Kai's favourite line is about the monkey being naughty, and when I say this he will look at me and practically gasp!! He knows the word naughty is cheeky and not a particularly positive word bless him. Kai doesn't particularly have much reaction to the pictures of the animals anymore after four days of reading the book everyday, he will simply make the noises but not want to look at the pictures for long apart from when we get to the end where the person decides to keep the puppy he recognises that it is a dog and will say 'org!!!!' in a manic way. We have a dog called George, and I explained to him that George is a dog and so is the puppy and he remembers this each time we read the book.

      The book is very well made with thick pages, the only problem is that Kai tends to try to wave the book around by the flaps (especially the snake one) so I have to take it off of him so he doesn't break it which results in him going off on one! Luckily it hasn't ripped yet as it is a quite well made book but the flaps are a little creased.

      All in all lovely book and its definitely Kai's favourite at the moment.

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        11.11.2012 23:45
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        A super book for a toddler

        My almost 15month old daughter has really started to outgrow some of her books such as those 'That's not my.....' and I am slowly replacing them with new books that are more suited to her age. She is going through a phase of being very interested in books with lift the flaps and 'can you find' and so I tend to try and look for books like that at the moment. One book that I already had when I worked as a substitute teacher is this 'Dear Zoo' book by Rod Campbell, which can be purchased on the likes of amazon for just under £4, but I actually originally got mine second hand, so paid very little.

        I really like the Rod Campbell books and I think they are just perfect for the age of my little girl and even those a bit younger. My daughter loves books about animals and can make some of the animal sounds so books like this really appeal. This is a bright, colourful, interactive story that captures my daughters attention from the very beginning and as soon as we had read the book, she wants me or her daddy to read it again.

        The story is told in the first person and begins with a letter being wrote to zoo to ask for a pet. With each page the story unfolds, with the zoo sending a different animals everytime. With each page, there is a different lift the flap, with animals such as lions, snakes, giraffes and even a camel. However, with each picture there is text alongside it saying ' They sent me a _________....... but he is too _____ so I sent him back' In the case of the camel, it was too grumpy so it was sent back. THe lion was too fierce, the snake was too scary etc etc. The story concludes with the zoo thinking long and hard about what to sent, and eventually they send a puppy which is just perfect, and he gets kept!

        My daughter adores this book at bedtime and it is definitely one of the favourites at the moment. She loves lifting the flaps and making some of the animal sounds that she knows. It is really a lovely book that is easy for children to follow and the repetition is useful for younger children.

        All in all, this is a great book by Rod Campbell, who I think it is a brilliant author and my daughter has some others of his in her collection which she also adores. This is just the next step up from the baby books and they are just perfect for my daughter at her age right now, with the right amount of text and interactive lift the flap.

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          17.10.2011 13:18
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          fun at the zoo

          When I was younger, I had this book. So it seemed only right that I introduce it to my son, too.

          It is a simple, creatively illustrated lift-the-flap book about a child who writes to the zoo for a pet (as you do) only to be sent a lion that is too noisy, an elephant too big and a snake too scary.

          The book's author, a Scotsman called Rod Campbell, has a very interesting life story. He was born in 1945 in Scotland and brought up in Zimbabwe. He later returned to Britain to complete a doctorate degree in organic chemistry.

          It wasn't until the 1980s that he began to become involved in children's publishing - a bit of a strange diversion but a wise move as Dear Zoo has been crowned a best seller for under 5s for 25 years - so it has literally been passed from generation to generation, building itself a reputation as a classic children's book and still staying relevant and entertaining to all children.

          Campbell Books, Rod Campbell's publishing subsidiary, was sold to Macmillan in 1995 and this is why all the Dear Zoo books now have the Macmillan publishing logo on them. As for the success of Dear Zoo, not only is it a top seller in the UK and other English speaking countries it was translated into Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Persian, French, Gujarati, Hindi, Panjabi, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Somali, Spanish, Turkish, Urdu, and Vietnamese (or so Wikipedia tells me.)

          I consider Dear Zoo to be an essential book shelf book and no doubt it will be too long before an interactive version is created for the iPad and devices alike.

          So how does a small child do with the lift the flap book? They're like moths to the flame with lift the flap books. Anything that isn't glued or nailed down they will destroy. It wasn't until my son was about 18 months that he began to rip the flaps off. Before that he would chew on the book (which is also another sure-fire way of destroying it.) Between the ripping and chewing I will have to replace the book, which is a shame because it wasn't cheap and it's such a lovely book.

          When I say it wasn't cheap I really mean it. £6 from Mothercare, in fact. Which I think is extortionate seeing as I wouldn't pay that price for most books I buy. Next time I think I will buy it from Amazon - haven't checked the prices, but I am sure it will be considerably less than £6. Maybe I'll try and cellotape the flaps back down, but I think they're beyond that now.

          Good points about the book? Short sentences, great pictures, funny storyline and great for reading together. Bad points? Mostly to do with the material - not durable but then again that's books. They're not made to last, they're made to be enjoyed.

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            22.06.2011 14:14
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            A durable, fun, kids book.

            Most parents of preschool children will probably own at least one book by the Author Rod Campbell, even if they don't realise it. The books by this author are very bold and distinctive, with simple, appealing illustrations and basic, easy to read text. Many of his books are interactive, either having pop up features, "touchy feely" fabrics and textures, or flaps to lift, which makes them irresistible to little hands and makes the whole storytelling experience really immersive. Dear Zoo is one of the most easily recognisable of Rod's books, and was fisrt published back in 1982, so it is likely that the generation of parents reading the story to their little ones probably had this book read to them when they were little. The book has a basic lift the flap format, absolutely perfect for curious tots.


            The version of the book that I have at home is hardback board book, and at the time that I bought it, about 5 years ago, it cost £4.99 cover of the book. If you go on Amazon, you can get a used copy for as little as 1p, and the board and paperback versions are about £3.79. Of course, being such a popular book, you will be guaranteed to find a copy in your local library, to see how much your child likes the book before deciding whether to buy one yourself. I would quite often visit our local library (before they shut it!), and get books that the kids enjoyed so much, i would end up buying a personal copy. This is one such book. I would reaslly suggest going for the board book version, as the book is designed to be fiddled with by small kids, and the board version is much easier to wipe clean and less resistant to tearing.


            The cover of the book sets the tone for what is inside. We see a large red box from the zoo with something inside. Ok, it is pretty obvious to us that it is a lion, but the fun of the book is that it gets the kids guessing, before the animal is revealed! The idea of the book is that the author wrote to the zoo to send him a pet (I dont condone this, of course!!!!), and the zoo send him various boxes containing unsuitable pets. The first page has a huge yellow box on it with the words "very heavy" on the side in big letters. You can then ask the child to see if they can guess what is in the box. Have you guessed yet? I'm not telling you the answer, but the animal in question was too big and got sent back to the zoo! We lift the flap to take a look and see if we guessed correctly. We then turn the page to see another box, this time a tall green box with a head sticking out the top. What have the zoo sent this time? This animal is much too tall and also gets sent back! On the pages that follow we have a list of unsuitable animals which are too fierce, grumpy, scary and jumpy, before we finally get the perfect pet on the last page....awww!


            The book is simple, and my kids used to love finishing the sentences for me and lifting the flaps to see the animals inside after guessing what they would be. This book is really popular in story sessions at libraries and playgroups, as it really gets a group of kids excited and involved in the story. The pictures are really lovely, as all the animals have cute smile faces and look great. This is a really good book to encourage kids to read, as the words are small and easy to work out.


            As I say, I have had the book for about 5 years, and all my kids have enjoyed reading it. The book is in surprisingly good condition, the only damage being lots of tooth marks around the edge of the book, and a few creases on the flaps that you lift. Luckily, the book was pretty tough, as we have had lots of similar books in the past that have fared a lot worse, and had the flaps ripped out. I was really impressed with how long this one has lasted.


            The book is ideal for kids from birth to about 5, and makes the experience of sitting and reading with your child really special. the pictures, though deceptively simple, give you a lot to talk about, and you can also talk about why the animals would not be good pets to keep at home!


            Dear Zoo is deservedly one of the most popular children's books ever, which just shows that a simple idea can become something really big. It has all of the elements of a perfect kids book, and will no doubt go on to delight many more generations of kids to come.

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              23.11.2010 21:35
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              Lovely board book for toddlers and young children who are just starting to read.

              Seems though it is nearly christmas i am spending time looking round the house for things to get rid of before the event and create space for the new stuff. One thing the boys won't part with is Dear Zoo. We have owned the book for a while having got a copy through the health visitor and bookstart when one of the boys had a health check. We get so many free books, some are brilliant and some are less good. This is a classic first published in 1982, and it is a goodie. We have owned 2 versions of the board book. One was an anniversary copy, and for some reason the pictures were all the same apart from one of a monkey that didn't look like a monkey, so i recommend the normal copy. (The anniversary one has a rosette type logo on the front to help you work it out.)

              The book is written and illustrated by Rod Cambell. He has other books too, such as about a farm, but this is the only one of his that we own.

              The cover of the book is a pale yellow with a picture of a red crate. You can just tell that the picture is of a lion. This is quite attractive to kids, and my kids would pick it from the picture alone as it is bright and interesting. The graphics are similar throughout the book. Each double page features an animal in a crate, and there are flaps for the child to lift up and see what is underneath, although as they get a bit bigger my two now know what is coming and read the book to me.

              The format of each double page is the same. The text reads:
              'I wrote to the zoo to send me a pet, so they sent me a'
              then on the 2nd page is the picture and you fill in the gap with the animals name.
              Then underneath the crate, 'He was too_______, so i sent him back.'

              In the gap insert a characteristic of that animal, eg, the frog is too jumpy, the giraffe is too tall, the lion is too fierce. 7 animals are returned before a perfect animal is sent and kept.

              We really love this book in our house. The kids take it in turns to lift the flaps, and they actually read the book to me. My eldest is just 4, and between the repetitive text and the cartoon type pictures he can work out what is going on. I sometimes catch him and my 2 year old sat on one of their beds and he reads it to his brother, which makes him feel really grown up and is really sweet to see.

              I have been reading it to both of mine for ages, so the appeal is there from about 18 months old though care will need to be taken with the flap. 2-4 is probably the most appropriate age, but i can imagine at least another year or two of it appearing at bedtime, and then i might have to sneak it in the loft for future grandchildren.

              If you have a special child in your life, they would love this. Highly recommended.

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                12.08.2010 22:00
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                A great story for young children

                Dear Zoo is up there with the top 10 most read books in nursery. The children who are 2-5 years think its great.

                This book by Rod Campell was first published in 1982 and is still popular today it now has a lift flap version and also a pop-up version and dual language versions (will list later) in paperback and board book form we have a variety in nursery.

                Dear Zoo is about a child who writes to zoo asking for a pet. The story goes 'I wrote to the zoo to send me a pet, They sent me a.....' the children look at the crate and shout out what they think is behind each animal container. They will shout out elephant, lion, giraffee monkey etc followed useually by the noise that the animal makes. They then pull the flap down or across to reveal the animal each container is hiding. The story then goes on to say for 'He was too.. 'big / fierce / naughty etc depending on what animal is behind the flap.

                What I think....
                This is a great story for getting children involved with. They quickly pick up and link which animal is in which container and many of our 3 year olds will read this story to others in the group linking the pictures to the story. The repetition helps here making it easy to remember what comes next. Its also a nice way of introducing children to zoo animals. The pictures are simple and colouful and the children like the anticipation of seeing whats behind the flaps.

                I mentioned earlier that Dear Zoo is also available in dual language editions (published by Mantra Lingua)where it is written in English and another language the other languages available are Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Farsi, French, Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Somali, Spanish, Turkish, Urdu, or Vietnamese.

                Dear Zoo I give 5 stars its simple yet brilliant. Dear Zoo can be purchased for as little as £3 on Amazon if you have young children I am sure they will love this.

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                  14.07.2010 10:48
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                  Highly recommended.

                  Dear Zoo is a staple in any Nursery or Creche. It is simple and entertaining for young children.

                  The book itself is a sturdy board book. The pages are thick and difficult to destroy, even for a toddler who is teething, and believe me my toddler has tried there are tooth marks all around the edges but it's still readable! The flaps aren't as sturdy though and are easily bent, ripped or torn off.

                  The pictures are clear and colourful, they are very attractive for children to look at. The flap are simple depictions of containers and when you lift them there is a cartoon picture of an animal underneath.

                  The text is simple and non-taxing:

                  "I wrote to the zoo to send me a pet, they sent me a lion so I sent it back."

                  This is a typical representation of the text featured on a double spread page. It really is that simple.

                  The story: Someone, we don't know who but that doesn't matter, tels us that they've written to the zoo and asked for a pet, the zoo sends them all sorts of inappropriate animals, will they ever send a suitable pet? You'll have to read it and find out.

                  In conclusion my children enjoy reading this book. My youngest loves to lift the flaps and make the animal noises, where he can. My eldest at three likes to point out why that animal wouldn't make a good pet and is equally incredulous that the zoo has sent this animal for a pet no matter whether it was our first time reading it or now on our hundred and whatever time of reading it: "You can't a lion mummy it would eat Toby (my toddler) all up!" My eldest can sit and pretend to read it to himself, he's not actually reading it, he doesn't have to we've read it often enough for him to know all the words. It's not an absolute favourite with either of them but they enjoy it and do ask for it to be read to them. What child can resist a flap book? It's also quite short so you can fit it in as a bedtime book when you actually have no time to spare, eight pages fly by.

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                  24.05.2010 11:19

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                  A timeless, classic baby/toddler/pre-school book

                  Dear Zoo was bought for my daughter on her 1st Birthday. It s a really simple book but surprisngly effective.
                  The book itself is made from thick card and is about 6 inches wide by 6 inches high and 16 pages long.
                  The story is that the reader has written to the zoo, asking them to send them a pet. On each double sided page you see what the zoo sends them, including a lion, a monkey, a frog, a camel, a giraffe and a snake. Each time the zoo sends an animal, your child has to lift a flap to open the cage and reveal the animal. The book tells you why that animal wasn't suitable - he was too jumpy/fierce/grumpy etc... so he gets sent back to the zoo, until they eventually get it right and send the perfect pet.
                  There is only one illustration per double page - showing the animal in the cage, but this works really well and allows you to concentrate on the animal - we always ad lib a bit and start talking about the noises the animal makes and where it lives in the wild, so from that point of view you can make the book quite educational and read it a little bit differently every time.
                  It's suitable for girls and boys and age-wise I would say from birth to about 4 years children will continue to enjoy reading it.
                  The books full retail price is £4.99, which is very reasonable for a decent classic children's book, but you usually buy it cheaper. I've seen it for as little as £2, at which price I would thoroughly recommend it.

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                  13.03.2010 15:12
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                  What a classic - every house with young kids should have this book!

                  "Dear Zoo" is such a classic. I remember reading it myself when I was little over 20 years ago, so I was really excited about buying it for my baby daughter . My mum beat me to it and I am so pleased that my daughter loves it. She has had it since she was around 6 months old and was into it straight away. I can't really see how any young kids wouldn't be interested in this book. My daughter (at 1) will look around if someone else is reading this book just because she is familiar with the story. The repetitive "So they sent me a..." is great for babies in getting them familiar with words and patterns.

                  The main attraction has to be the flaps. My daughter will endlessly turn the pages to lift the next flap, put it back again, and lift it again. Whilst this has an inevitable flimsiness to it and many a flap has been ripped in the past (ours is still fine at the moment though), I don't think this should put you off getting a lift the flaps book. Accidents will always happen.

                  The animals are a great attraction too, where you can enhance the story with animal noises and moves (e.g. the jumpy frog). It is also long enough to not be over in 4 pages, which some other children/baby books suffer from, but it is not so long as to lose interest.

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                  15.01.2010 21:09
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                  A Book That Loads Of Kids Love..... Unfortunately My Sister Isn't One Of Them!

                  I know this book has been mega popular for years but my sister has never had a lot of interest in it and I'm just flicking through it now and it's as good as new because she doesn't look at it much.

                  It's a board book and has a flap on each side. The story is that a little boy wants a pet and writes to the zoo, they offer him a different animal on each page but none of them are right for him. The camel is too grumpy, the lion is too fierce and it carries on like that until the zoo send him a cute puppy.

                  It's a nice story I think, the flaps are shaped nice to match the animal behind it. There's a snake in a wicker basket and the giraffe is in a big tall box, it's well designed and one thing my sister does like about it is the lions bum sticking out by the bars of the cage but you can't see his head until you lift the flap up.

                  The copy we've got was in a Bookstart pack and none of the flaps have ripped or anything, but the book hasn't had much use because my sister finds it boring. The story repeats itself a bit much I think and I know kids are supposed to like that but my sister doesn't and never has done. I think she'd enjoy Dear Zoo more if it had a more flowing story to it.

                  The pictures are good. They're drawn dead basic but are realistic at the same time if you know what I mean, they are definitely done to appeal to small children because there's no unnecessary detail in them so nothing to complicate matters. I also like that the pictures will tell the story so little kids can look through the book by themselves.

                  My sister is 2 ½ and I think this book is a bit kiddified for her, about a year ago she loved lifting the flaps up but that's nothing special for her now she can do so much more so she doesn't get excited by it.

                  It's hard to know what to rate this because I think it's a brill book but I'm not the consumer..... my sister is and she's not mad keen. She'll sit and listen if you pick it up but you can tell she's not listening properly sometimes and she'll get bored even though it's a short book.

                  Recommended by me though because loads of kids love it and it's a classic!!!

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                    05.01.2010 23:48
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                    Recommended

                    Dear Zoo is a pre-school board book written by Rod Campbell. It was first published in 1982 and I remember having it when I was little. When I saw it in Tescos I had to buy it for my son and recapture a bit of my childhood.

                    *Story*
                    Dear Zoo is written in the first person. I always imagined it was written for the viewpoint of a young child but nothing in the book confirms/denies this.
                    The story is about a person who wants a pet. They write to the zoo asking for a pet which results in the zoo sending a variety of animals that all get returned for various reasons. Eventually the zoo chooses a sensible pet and sends this.

                    *Features*
                    Each double page has a lift the flap feature. The flap is always the carrier the new animal has been sent in so when the child lifts the flap it reveals the new animal. The first time of lifting each flap was quite triky and my son (2 yrs old) couldn't get his finger under enough to open it. After the first lift though, it is much more manageable for him.
                    Something I am pleased to see is that the flaps feel very sturdy. In other books, I have seen flaps get torn off in excitement but these ones seem tougher and will hopefully last a lot longer - none have torn so far!
                    The lift the flap feature on every page can generate a lot of discussion. The new animal is partially hidden or sometimes completely hidden, leading my son to guess what the new pet could be.

                    *Repetition*
                    Although it can drive parents crazy, in a pre-school book repetition is a great thing! Other than the first page which introduces the story, every double page starts with
                    'So they sent me a .......'
                    Then on the opposite page with the lift the flap picture is writing saying
                    'But it was too ....... (big/scarey/fierce etc), so I sent it back.'
                    Because of the repetition in the story, young children quickly learn what comes next and can join in. Not only does it make it more fun for them but talso this is a very important step in early reading.

                    *Vocabulary*
                    This book reinforces basic vocabulary of animal names and common adjectives such as 'big'. Again, this can generate discussion between parent and child. Where it says that the elephant is sent back because it is too big, the child could then suggest other animals that are large.

                    *My Opinion*
                    I loved this book as a child and still love it now as an adult. It is simple enough for my son to fully understand at the same time as being entertaining enough that he wants it reading 6 times in a row.
                    It generates a lot of discussion between myself and my son and I feel that is when a lot of learning and bonding can take place.
                    The book is well made. It is a sturdy board book and as already mentioned the lift the flap parts seem robust. The illustrations are bright and child-friendly.

                    The rrp is £4.99. I bought this book from Tescos for £4. I would imagine it is avaiable from a large number of stores as well as online stores.

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                      08.12.2009 15:42
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                      Great way to teach them a few animals.

                      I bought Dear Zoo for my youngest son who will be one year old in two weeks. It was in his Christmas calendar. I decided not to buy them the chocolate filled version but I made them my own calendar filled with little cars, books and occasionally chocolate.


                      So on the seventh day Peter got Rod Campbell's Dear Zoo. This book is almost 28 years old, the first edition was published in 1982. We read the book while my kids were having breakfast and both of them enjoyed it.


                      About the author
                      ---------------------
                      The author of this book is Rod Campbell who is a Scottish writer and illustrator. He specialised in children's books and besides Dear Zoo he wrote Dear Santa, ABC Zoo, Noisy Farm, Farm 123, The Pop-up Farm, The Pop-up Jungle, etc. He was born in 1945 and was brought up in Zimbabwe. After he returned to Britain he completed a doctorate in organic chemistry.



                      About Dear Zoo
                      ----------------------
                      I suppose you buy the book for a child, so if I write here the text of it I won't spoil your experiences about the book.

                      First page:
                      I wrote to the zoo to send me a pet. They sent me an... On the other side there is a big yellow box with a label on it saying Very Heavy! The box can be lifted and you see an elephant behind the box. The text says: He was too big! I sent him back.

                      Second page:
                      So they sent me a... On the next page there is a tall green box and a giraffe is looking out at the top of it. There are two labels on the box: From the Zoo says the first and Fragile says the other. If you lift the flap you can see the giraffe. The text below the box says: He was too tall! I sent him back.

                      From now on the text on the left side is repetitively: So they sent me a... Then there is a lion that is too fierce, a camel that is too grumpy, a snake that was too scary, a monkey that was too naughty, a frog that was too jumpy.

                      Finally on the left it is said: So they thought very hard, and sent me a... on the left there is a basket, and below it there is a dog. He was perfect! I kept him.


                      My opinion
                      ----------------
                      I bought this book on Amazon for about 3 pounds. It was on offer. Actually I bought a lot of copies and gave them to my children's friends and I heard that all of them love this book. I think it is a great book which helps the children to learn a lot of animals and one characteristic thing about them. I see that the two sons of mine look and use the book differently. My elder son already knows these animals, he recognised all of them. He is 2.5 years old. He observed the labels on the box, the shape of the box and was interested how this book was made so that the flops can be lifted. The younger one is interested in the picture and he enjoys lifting the flops of the book. Unfortunately he tastes the book several times a day so I have to take care of it not to eat it before he learns these animals. Lol

                      Thanks for the reading!

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                        22.10.2009 21:22
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                        can be used an an educational tool for all ages

                        Dear Zoo - Rod Campbell

                        On a recent trip to the library I loaned a lot of books for Jake to give him a change from the many we have a home, and Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell was one of these. This 16 page book has an rrp of £4.99, which I feel is actually an okay price given the content.

                        **I wrote to the zoo to send me a pet. They sent me an...**
                        This is the test on the first page. On the facing page is a pull down flap in the shape of a wooden crate with the words 'very heavy! On the flap. Pulling the flap down reveals an elephant.

                        This books continues to introduce children to zoo animals including a giraffe, a lion, a camel, a snake, a frog, a monkey and a dog by using open up flaps with animals hidden behind doors, in cages and baskets.

                        **My thoughts**
                        My first thoughts on this book are that it could really benefit from naming each animal under the relevant flaps. The reason for this is that some of the illustrations are a little ambiguous, with, in my opinion, some being a little poor and too easily identifiable. After reading this through with Jake it lost his attention really quickly and on that basis I would not recommend this to such a young child (he is just one), but definitely an older children... may be in six months he will be different with it, but for the time being the flaps hiding the animals are just too small and fiddly and he wants to eat them.

                        Also, on a more personal note.... I did not like the illustration of the snake with the words 'He was too scary. I sent him back'. The reason for this is that we actually have a pet snake at home. I have only just introduced Jake (son) to Syd (Snake) at the age of one year and this was done from a distance. I want Jake to learn, and to teach Jake that he should always be cautious around the snake as he grows (both of them) but not to be fearful; the same as I will with dogs. I have an utter fear of honey bees as I am allergic to their stings but I definitely do not want this fear to rub off on Jake. I acknowledge that some people do have a fear of snakes and that to them it is rational as is my phobia of bees. Also, to add, Jake has not yet touched the snake, which is kept in a locked vivarium with keys way way out of reach so that is no way Jake can get to him or vice versa, the snake only being a tiny corn anyway.... just in case any of you were fearing for my sons safety. Heard too many scare stories for that!

                        So, back to the book, It is very basic but easy to follow and slightly older children may enjoy trying to work out whether the camel is really a camel or a horse. Lol

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                          19.08.2009 12:38
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                          Ideal as a bed time story

                          This book is about a child that writes to the zoo to send him a pet, the zoo then sends him an assortment of different pets to try and for one reason or another they are not suitable and he sends them back, until they send him the perfect pet that he keeps.

                          It is written by Rod Campbell and features lots of brightly coloured pictures and flaps to be lifted. The pages are made out of board, just right for little fingers.

                          The flaps are quite thin so watch your little ones with these! My oldest child loves this book and I love reading it to her - her job is to tell me what the animal is and I tell her why the child didn't keep the animal. It is just the right length to keep my 2 year focused until the end before they want to be off doing something else.

                          Well worth the £1.50 from Amazon - I think that I paid £4.99 for mine from Waterstones!

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