Top critical review
4 people found this helpful
Abbreviated story and not much in the way of `shape'
on 29 March 2012
I will admit to being a bit disappointed in this book. It's very sweet and has the lovely standard of illustration familiar to 'Dear Zoo' readers. But it is basically cashing in on the popularity of the proper story. I'm less than convinced about the value of the 'shape' elements, and it's disappointing that around the vaguely animal-shaped pages the story has been cut down to a scant 5 lines (as a toddler book, it was never exactly 'War and Peace'!).
Inside the hardback binding of the book are 8 board book pages with large pictures of animals on them, each animal occupying its own page. The pages have been vaguely cut around the shapes of the animals on their 3 unbound edges. Due to the nature of the cut-outs you get the same animal pictured on both sides of the page. The first side of the animal has its name printed on it, while legends 'too big', 'too tall', etc. are printed on the back. I'm not as keen on this as I could be. The pictures are nice and a good size, but by scaling all the animals to full page size it makes it a bit difficult for little children to see the reasons for sending the animals back to the zoo: the frog and puppy end up the same size as the elephant and giraffe!
The structuring of the last page in the book - which summarises the plot of 'Dear Zoo' - is a bit confusing, saying that all the animals were sent back... then contradicting this with a statement about having kept the puppy.
It's a pretty toddler book, and it has nice illustrations. But it's very much an adjunct to 'Dear Zoo' and does nothing in terms of teaching about shapes/sizes.