Friday, September 16, 2011

Book of the Week: One Night in the Zoo

I haven't done a Book of the Week for ages but that isn't because we're not reading! I love Judith Kerr, but E hasn't been interested in the Mog books yet despite repeated offerings of them, so I was stoked to discover this book which she can't get enough of.

It's the story of what the zoo animals get up to after dark: 

"One moonlit, magical night in the zoo
An elephant jumped in the air and flew.
But nobody knew."

I've heard it described as a "counting book" and it is, in so far as the number of animals progresses on each page (a crocodile and a kangaroo, three bears, four lions, etc). For me the counting aspect is secondary to the rhyming verse and the pretty pastel illustrations in Judith Kerr's distinctive style. I read a review that described the rhyme scheme as "silly and tedious"* and I don't agree at all - the rhyme scheme is built upon words that rhyme with "zoo" but I thought Kerr did a good job within this limitation. Another review commented that "numerous spelling variations for the "oo" sound will appeal to primary teachers."**

At any rate, we enjoy it. E thinks it's funny that the animals are getting up to things that they normally wouldn't (riding bicycles, playing cards, cooking stew). She especially likes the stew cooking page: "yum, yum!"


* Blair Christolon, School Library Journal, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA. Review reprinted and accessed on

** Donalyn Miller, review published and accessed at 


Silver Threads of Happiness said...

Ooh I love Judith Kerr also, Meg and Mog were a firm favourite of mine as a child. I'm doing Zoo Animals with my students next term so I'll definitely be looking this one up!

Silver Threads of Happiness said...

By Meg and Mog I mean that AND Mog books, oops! When I hear Mog my brain automatically skips off to Meg and Mog land :P

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