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550
4.8 out of 5 stars
Dear Zoo
Format: Board bookChange
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49 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on 20 September 2000
Dear Zoo is a very readable and enjoyable book, with plenty of appeal, from the gorgeous illustrations to look at, to the flaps to fiddle with, and not least, the potential to make all the appropriate animal noises. This book has remained a favourite from very early on, and we have not grown bored of reading it every day.
As well as being great fun it is also educational, teaching children concepts such as "too tall" and "too grumpy" as well teaching them why zoo animals cannot be kept as pets. Children very quickly learn the order the animals appear in, and the anticipation adds to their enjoyment of this classic book.
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68 of 69 people found the following review helpful
on 23 February 2007
What a find! A tough, sturdy board book with flaps requiring different skills. The content absorbs my [...], very active grandson totally, something which few books can do at this stage. The text can be used at different levels from simple animal noises up to story involvement. A clever, interactive, pop-up, which I would highly recommend for little fingers.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on 22 February 2005
This has been our 14 month old's favourite book for the last 8 months and it's often the first book picked from the shelf. The suspense in the story, the extra interest of the flaps and the good, clear illustrations all helped in keeping it a firm favourite with his parents too! It's also great fun making the animal noises - which always make our son laugh.
Little fingers loves lifting the flaps and the pages were sturdy enough to cope when he first learnt to turn pages when he was younger (although the flaps took a bit of a battering when he was less than 10 months if there was no parental supervision!).
His father did comment that perhaps sending presents back was not something we should encourage - but that said it's also one of the first books he chooses to read to our son!
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 27 January 2006
I have used this book for many years with different ages of preschool children who have all enjoyed trying to guess what animal is under the flaps.
I think it not only encourages animal recognition, but animal sounds and size. It is a useful addition to any bookshelf as the children enjoy the text and can then pretend to read the book but adding in the words "I wrote to the zoo etc."
I would recommend this book to any preschool setting and I am sure the children will get lots of enjoyment as the children I have used this book with. It is probably one of the childrens favourite books.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
I first heard the story told on Cbeebies story time. I re-enacted it much to my son's amusement and we bought the book at the earliest opportunity. Its a great book with a simply premise- several pets are sent by the zoo and all are unsuitable until the last one "he was perfect. I kept him". Its a lift the flap book with just enough text to keep their attention on each page. The illustrations are simple and bold and the book presents opportunities to talk about proportions and appearances and of course, to make funny animal noises. My son, in his enthusiasm, has wrecked the first one we bought him and we are going to have to buy a new one. That's how much he loves it. Since this book, he has really learnt to enjoy books as a one to one activity with me, which makes me really happy.
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on 15 August 2006
My daugter is only 9 months but her attention is held simply because she is allowed to grab the flaps and see the animals.

The pages are boards so it's robust to little fingers and the flaps are strong although some adult supervision in needed for those times she wants to eat it.

Great book
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 11 December 2007
This was a book given to my daughter for her first birthday. It was a favourite for a long time and has done a lot for promoting her language development. The pictures are lovely. The book is sturdy and unlike some flap books, they do not easily pull off.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 2 August 2014
Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell is a 16 page hardback flip-up book for very early readers. It offers 8 different illustrated animals hiding behind various boxes and compartments for little fingers to probe. Dear Zoo is a fun way to engage small people in the joy of books, flipping through the different animals. It makes for easy interaction between parent and child, the animals inspiring a parent's impressions - even for the giraffe.

The wording is clear and simple, easy to read. Sentences are short and punchy so have impact.

The qualify of the flip-ups is prett good having taken a few year's worth of abuse, Not one has fallen apart. Some are more difficult to open than others which means there is a challenge scale here. The very earliest readers will not be able to open any, slightly older will see some openable. It is a good way to practice fine motor skills and a bit of coordination.

The product is good. The only problem is the morality. There are two problems with the morality. The first is that all the animals are referred to in the male pronoun. While the original was from 1982 when attitudes were different, the later iteration could at least give young girls a chance to identify as well rather than simply reinforcing the predominance of the male pronoun. A parent reading to a young girl might need to think about whether to chop and change a bit.

The second morality point is a bit more challenging. The zoo sends these exotic and occasionally endangered animals to the narator as a gift. The narrator sends them back. The disposability of sentient life is a curious message to reinforce in a small child. It can make for an awkward reading experience. Of course the child will not really notice so it is all just harmless fun but equally it is a negative message to send that these animals are in fact just for Christmas rather than for life - there's a reason for the existence of that cliche.

Dear Zoo is a fun little book for small hands to enjoy. The flip-ups are good and the flow is an easy read. Unfortunately it also reinforces some outdated views on life which can be uncomfortable for a modern parent.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on 12 November 2005
I bought Dear Zoo for my son when he was approx. 6 months old - it is still one of his favourites and he has now just turned 3! He is now telling me what the animals are and what noises they make. A great buy.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 27 February 2006
This book is a god send! It keeps my one year old entertained for hours - A complete classic, yet could be a modern story too! The "Lift the flaps" helps your child to interact with the story. The flaps in the book are quite strong and have yet to rip or tear. Excellent would recommend this to anybody!
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