Dear Zoo book

Dear Zoo – A Children’s Book Review

Dear Zoo

Dear Zoo is a wonderful book and one that I just had to review. As it is such a classic now, I’m sure everybody has read it at least once. It was written by Rod Campbell and was first published in 1982. I have fond memories of this book from when I was growing up, as I’m sure a lot of you do. It always seemed to be the one that was picked up first at school or in the library, and it’s still going strong today.

Getting involved in the story

Dear Zoo is a lift the flap book, which means it’s a fun way for children to connect with the story and feel like they’re involved in the adventure, and this book does it really well. We picked Dear Zoo up when Cupar was about 11 months old, and he loved it straight away, getting stuck in and finding all the animals hiding in their crates. The book seems to be about the right length for a one year old to read without getting too bored. There are 16 pages in total and 8 of them have the flaps on, so there’s plenty to look at and play with.

A baby reading Dear Zoo

Dear Zoo has a good mixture of words and pictures, with uncomplicated, simple sentences, which are perfect for teaching our little ones to read. The language is easily understandable for a child, with descriptive words that may form part of their vocabulary already. The story involves a young child writing to the zoo because they want a pet, which adds a bit of magic to the book, and will capture their imaginations long after the book is put down.

Why we like Dear Zoo

There are lots of animals in this book, with the elephant and puppy being Cupar’s favourites. Whenever he discovers them he lets out a loud ‘eeeee’ and points at the page. The only animal he doesn’t like seeing is the camel, so we always skip over that page. I think it’s because that one has 2 flaps rather than 1, and it’s just too much effort to open both of them!

The illustrations in Dear Zoo are lovely and really capture the look of the animals, as well as being fun and playful. The animals are instantly recognisable, and I’m hoping Cupar will soon start to pick up on what they are and eventually be able to say the names himself. This would be a fun book to read before or after a trip to the zoo to get children learning about different animals and what they do.

Summary of Dear Zoo

  • A lift the flap book – good for interacting with.
  • Not too long – only 16 pages, so toddlers won’t get bored.
  • Lovely bold colourful illustrations.

All in all, I think Dear Zoo is a really lovely book, and I can see Cupar being interested in it for a good few years yet. The writing flows and has an element of surprise to it which children will love. It’s a perfect book for reading out loud together, and unlike some books, it doesn’t get boring after a few days.

A baby reading and turning the pages of a book

I hope you enjoy reading Dear Zoo as much as we did, and if you have any suggestions for future books, please let me know in the comments below. Let’s share the love of reading and help our children to become bookworms for life.

Would you like more book suggestions? Check out my reviews of Fox’s Socks and The Detective Dog next.

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