Age Range: 3 to 6
The highlight of this year’s school trip to the zoo was seeing a monkey do a poo and my daughter explained the situation in great detail (with actions!). She then asked to read Poo in the Zoo which is an amusing and original rhyming story about how one little zookeeper has to deal with the animal poo that is generated in his zoo.
The Story: Zookeeper Bob McGrew loves looking after the animals but isn’t so keen on clearing up their poo. One day Iguana escapes and eats everything in sight including a swarm of fireflies. The resulting poo is green and glowing and Bob (who didn’t see what happened) thinks that the poo has come from outer space! Hector Gloop, a poo collector, offers to buy it for his collection and Bob uses Hector’s money to ensure that he no longer has to clean up poo (we’re not going to spoil the story and tell you what he buys!).
This story is not for those who are uncomfortable with the inclusion of poo in a story, it really is everywhere and poor Bob’s task is never ending. His job as a zookeeper is given an amusing twist with the inclusion of the iguana’s glowing, green poo and it is fun for children to know something that Bob doesn’t! There’s poo on every page, often described quite graphically, and my daughter pores over the pictures trying to match the poo to the animal. She’s fascinated by the different types of animal poo that are mentioned in the story, Hector Gloop has quite a collection and Ada Grey’s beautifully illustrated endpapers show lots of different varieties including Griffin Doo-doo and Skink Stink.
Poo in the Zoo has a wonderfully, humorous rhyming text which is fun to read aloud and there is lots of humour in the illustrations. Our favourite illustration is the final one, we love the baby panda sat in a deckchair with a huge ice-cream next to his tea drinking mum and it’s great to see Bob relaxing now that he doesn’t need to work so hard! There is a range of animals in the story which younger children can have fun identifying, we love the way that (very unrealistically!) the visitors to the zoo and the animals mingle together to look at the unusual poo!
Poo in the Zoo is not for the squeamish but the toilet humour will appeal to small children everywhere!
Author: Steve Smallman / Illustrator: Ada Grey
Thank you to Little Tiger Press for sending us a review copy of Poo in the Zoo. My daughter was insistent that we recommend it on Story Snug, especially after her own zoo experience!
This blogpost from Words and Pictures explains the publishing process behind Poo in the Zoo, from Steve Smallman’s initial submission to the publication of the book.