Doing the Zoo: Out and About at the Zoo by Jo Lindell
OUT AND ABOUT
IS SO MUCH FUN,
IT'S WITH MY MUM.
"What is so rare as a day in June," said the poet, and where better to go on a sunny summer day than the zoo? And that just what Mum and son do in Jo Lindell's newly-published Out and About at the Zoo (Create Space, 2012). The two make the tour, taking in all those must-see animals that preschoolers love:
GIRAFFES WITH NECKS,
LONG AND TALL.
I BET FROM UP THERE
I LOOK REALLY SMALL.
Hippos plod and splash, lions and tigers tear into their lunches, kangas hop high, and elephants look as if they're ready for some water-squirting fun, as Mum and child make the rounds. All the animals wear big, welcoming smiles, except for one!
CROCODILES WITH BIG TEETH,
READY TO BITE!
It's just a delicious little fright from safety outside the croc's enclosure, and this little zoo-goer is not in the least deterred by crocodile teeth, so that when when his mother notices it's time to go, he can't wait to invite the reader along on a return trip.
What this colorful little story has going for it is the simplicity of its illustrations and its easy-to-read rhyming quatrains which capture the essence of each animal. The simple black-line and flat primary colors of the pictures likewise capture a stylized, almost iconic, look of each zoo creature, making this book a good choice as an introduction to the zoo or as a reprise of a recent visit to relive the experience. This book is appropriate for lap-sitting toddlers just learning the names of the animals, and with its contextual cues built into the illustrations, even a good beginning book for the emergent reader for an "I can read it all by myself" solo session. The closing text even hints that there may be more "Out and About" books in the offing.