Newest Review: ... our little one still enjoys it and can now shout some of the animal names, but it is less complex than many of the books we are read... more
I wrote to the zoo...
Dear Zoo - Rod Campbell
Member Name: juicy_lucy
Dear Zoo - Rod Campbell
Date: 04/04/07, updated on 11/12/07 (807 review reads)
Advantages: Perfect for young children
Disadvantages: Flaps may come off
A great book, which, although it was first published in 1982, has lost none of its appeal, and is still usually found on the bookshelves of schools and nurseries (usually well thumbed).
The story is incredibly simple and relies on the fact that children love to guess especially if they have a few clues to "go with". We start with the sentence setting the scene..."I wrote to the zoo to send me a pet. They sent me an..." Here the words stop and children use picture clues to guess what could be inside the large yellow crate with a tag saying "from the zoo" and writing on the crate saying VERY HEAVY. We read these labels together because these are the clues which will help children guess what it is the zoo sent. Lift the flap, and there is a large grey elephant. "He was too big! I sent him back"
This is the format for the whole book. The animal is sent back, and then we have the words on the left side of the double page spread "SO they sent me ..." This is followed by a lift the flap to reveal the animal and then a reason as to why it has to be sent back to the zoo.
As well as an elephant, the zoo send a lion, a camel, a snake, a monkey, a giraffe, and a frog. Children will usually find the monkey the most appealing, and when they hear that the child has sent animals back because they are too scary, they reassure themselves and others that it would not be too scary for them! Eventually, the people at the zoo "thought very hard" and send a puppy who was perfect, and this time, the narrator keeps the pet.
~~Other bits of information~~
Publisher: Penguin group
~~Other books by the same author~~
I'm not scary
Baby's Busy Book
Lots of books, many of them perfect for young children
~~Why I like this book~~
Each page is simple for children to get into the rhythm of the text because apart from right at the beginning and the end sentences, the format is exactly the same throughout, with the same sentences being repeated. This makes it an excellent book to help children see the pattern of words, and enables them to read the book themselves.
When the animals are delivered there are picture clues to help the children guess which animal is being delivered. As mentioned before, the elephant is in a box labelled very heavy, so this is a clue, and when the lion is delivered,he is in a cage, so we can actually see bits of him. These little clues mean that even if a child has been introduced to the book for the first time, he or she can have a good go at guessing which animal is being delivered- great for self esteem if they get it right, and if not, not to worry, I always say there were too few clues.
The illustrations themselves are fantastically simple- no fancy animals here. If a child knows an animal, they are sure to recognise it.
So, with the simple language, repetitive format and easily identifiable animals, this is a great book for very young children; even pre school children will almost certainly enjoy this and want to read it back to you. Certain to become well thumbed; with this comes problems...the flaps. For classroom use I tend to laminate the flaps and re stick them into the book. For home use, they could come of the page but a bit of sticky tape does the trick.
A recommended book!
Thanks for reading
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