ZooZical by Judy Sierra. Illustrated by Marc Brown. 2011. Random House. 40 pages.
One blustery morning, when frosty winds blew,
When families stayed home, and when field trips were few,
The midwinter doldrums arrived at the zoo.
The zoo animals are bored, bored, bored. It's winter and the weather is keeping visitors away from the zoo. But with one little bounce--or hop--all that changes. The hop in question--from a small hippo--not the bounciest animal, perhaps, but wouldn't you hop out of the way if a BIG hippo was about to collapse on you? Inspired by this hop, the animals decide to put on a show. And this show--this talent show--brings in visitors once more.
I am not a big fan of Judy Sierra. I think her rhyming--her rhythm--is lacking quite a bit. The rhymes feel unnatural and the story feels forced in places. The rhymes hold this story back. The premise of this one--performing animals, silly animal tricks, animals singing, dancing, laughing, etc. isn't a horrible one. It could actually be fun (think Dooby, Dooby Moo). And I always appreciate a good zoo story.
The strength of this one is in the illustrations by Marc Brown. I thought they worked well with this one. The illustrations alone kept me reading this one.
Have you read ZooZical? What did you think? Do you have a favorite zoo book?
Text: 1 out of 5
Illustrations: 3 out of 5
Total: 4 out of 10
© 2011 Becky Laney of Young Readers