REVIEW: Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell

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REVIEW: Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell






Dear Zoo
Dear Zoo

A popular children’s classic book is Dear Zoo. A very simple lift-the-flap book filled with repetitive and surprising texts. The story starts with a child who wrote to the zoo to send a pet. So zoo people started to send unusual animals as pets like lions or monkeys or camels or snakes. They came in a box or crate or basket, and each time it was too big or small or scary for the child. So the child has to resend the animal back and has to wait for a perfect pet. Do you think the child will get a perfect pet to play with? A popular book for all ages and lots of discussions can be done using this simple story.

One can discuss with an older kid,

  • Pet animals and zoo/wild animals.
  • Characteristics of each animal in the book.
  • Reasoning skills like why would they keep the dog as a pet and not a lion as a pet?
  • Different types of boxes are used in the story.

To enhance this story more, one can play pretend to play with animal figurines and a box. The kid has to open the box and find what animal it is and say if it’s heavy or small or scary or fierce.

The Zoo sent me a Lion.
The Zoo sent me a Lion

Also, there are Dear zoo printables all-around social media and one can use them to play along with the book.


The zoo sent me a snake.
Dear zoo animal shapes.
Dear zoo animal shapes.

The animal shapes version of the dear zoo is a board book, which doesn’t have flaps. Instead, they have die-cut pages for each animal. Each page says the animal’s name, and when the kid turns the page it represents the size of the same animal.

One can read the animal shapes book to babies as it’s a sturdy board book. These repetitive and uncomplicated texts in the story help the kid to develop their vocabulary. A year-old will start recognising different animals and this book will surely engage them.

A shape boo of the dear zoo.
A shape book of the dear zoo.
The page shows the cut of lion's character and cut out of giraffe.
The page shows a cutout of the lion’s character and a cutout of a camel.
The page shows the cut of elephant's character and cut out of giraffe.
The page shows a cutout of the elephant’s character and a cutout of the giraffe.

Both books are bright and beautiful and carry the same storyline.

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Hi, I am Karen- Mom to a 6-year-old and a passionate book reviewer. A book lover myself, I strongly believe in reading to kids on a daily basis, to help them turn into mini bookworms. I find delight in my every growing bookshelf. Join us on our reading journey and don't forget to share your bookish love with us too.

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