‘Dear Zoo’ Book Review

Dear Zoo: A flap-lifting adventure with your favourite animals

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Author and Illustrator: Rod Campbell

Target Ages: Toddlers and Preschoolers

Rating: ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ 

“I wrote to the zoo to send me a pet.....” 
Welcome to the exciting journey through all the different boxes in search of your favorite pet. If your toddler loves animals and likes to turn through the pages, then this sturdy board book with flap-lifting fun is the perfect present, most likely to whet his appetite for more reading.

A simple storyline, repetitive language, and behind-the-flap adventure are sure to tantalise their curiosity and make for a fun read. As different animals are sent from the zoo, including an elephant, a snake, and a monkey, your kid will be left to imagine why they don’t make for a perfect pet. 

An elephant is too big to keep, a lion too fierce to make friends with and a camel is too grumpy to talk to. Not so much as the idea of a perfect pet! The little hands will be tempted to turn over the pages and find their most friendly animal.

My toddler son sat down to match his animal figurines with those in the book. Funnily, his little elephant toy fit in the box sent by the zoo! He made animal sounds on each page, once roaring his lungs out at the fierce lion. He was happy to see he had a bit of a zoo with himself. Our mom and tot team enjoyed a rather uninhibited and loud bonding time during the read. 

In the end, he was happy to find his favourite animal as the pet behind the basket. He actually insisted on a second reading and we have had many subsequent readings thereafter. 

The famous author, Rod Campbell, has successfully combined simplicity, bright and bold illustrations and flap-fun in this very engaging book. There are elements of anticipation and surprise, which fuel kids’ curiosity. My toddler son loves filling in the reading with animal noises. Even my older son, nearly five years old, loved practising his new-found reading abilities on the short and repetitive text.

Key takeaways and Rating

Overall, full marks to ‘Dear Zoo’ for making reading fun, interesting and informative. It will appeal to kids between one and five years old, mainly toddlers. It encourages imagination and verbal expression and fulfills their desire for more reading. The discovery of their favorite pet is the ultimate prize, which brings a priceless smile to their faces. 
In a nutshell, a five star flap-lifting fun experience!

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