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Mog at the Zoo - Helen Nicoll

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Genre: Junior Books / Author: Helen Nicoll, Jan Pienkowski / Edition: New Ed / Paperback / 32 Pages / Book is published 1984-09-27 by Puffin Books

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      15.05.2007 17:42
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      Another great book in the Meg and Mog series.

      This book is coming up to it's 25th anniversary but you would never be able to tell it's age, unlike some of us humans!!

      It is yet another one of Helen Nicoll's books in the Meg and Mog series which are a big hit with children from about 3 upwards.

      Meg is a very skinny witch with a hooked nose, a cauldron, a broomstick and the necessary cat, named Mog. Mog is a wiry black and white stripy cat who is always getting in to scrapes. Together, Meg and Mog have a friend called Owl who features in many of the books in the series.

      - Mog at the Zoo -

      Meg, Mog and Owl set off on the broomstick to the zoo. They were all interested in different types of animals: Meg wanted the reptiles for her spells, Owl fancied a mouse for lunch and Mog fancied herself as a tiger!

      Seeing the back end of Mog the zoo keepers wonder whether a zebra or even a tiger has escaped so they begin to chase after Mog past a wide range of animals who cheer her on. Mog is eventually captured and put in to a cage while the keepers go to find out what type of animal she is.

      Along comes Meg to the rescue with her spell.............Mog is set free but Meg ends up in the cage (her spells very often go wrong!)

      Hours passed until it was midnight and Meg thought of a spell to escape: ' Ping pong, everything's wrong. Twist and shout, everybody out!'

      And everything did get out..........all the animals were set free for the night.

      The story ends with them all having breakfast together, leaving you wondering how the zoo keepers would round them all up again!

      - Illustrations -

      Jan Pienkowski has illustrated all of the books in the Meg and Mog series.

      They are bright, colourful, bold and simple with each page having a brightly coloured back drop.

      - Style and Format -

      As with all of the books in this series the text and illustrations work hand in hand.

      The font is very simple and great for emergent readers as there are no loops or squiggly letters.

      There is a great mixture of speech and thought bubbles along with the narrative text.

      The font style and size does vary to convey noise and excitement, e.g. when Mog bumps in to the tree there is large pink bubble-style writing to emphasise the 'BOING' of bumping in to it.

      I particularly like the page where the animals are accidentally set free by Meg. This is all black to demonstrate that it is night time and there are large coloured words denoting the sounds that the animals make, it's a good game for children to guess what animal the sound represents, e.g. 'HOWL', ROAR, GRRUNT, RATTLE, HISS, CROAK' etc....

      - My opinion -

      Meg and Mog books are very popular with children from about 3 - 6 years old. They like the bright pages and the humorous things that happen to the duo that usually arises from Meg's spells going wrong.
      This is well worth a trip to the library for if you haven't already got this on your bookshelf!

      - Price -

      The paperback, ISBN: 0-14-050431-1 is usually 4.99 but amazon are selling used and new copies from 94p

      - Other Meg and Mog Books -

      * Meg and Mog
      * Meg's eggs
      * Meg at sea
      * Meg on the moon
      * Mog's box
      * Meg's veg
      * Mog in the fog
      * Owl at school
      * Owl at the vet

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