April 8th is National Zoo Lovers Day!
Many picture books provide children with their first introduction to zoo animals, in stories animals often take on human qualities and can do almost anything. Picture books, fiction and non fiction, can help to initiate discussions about animals who live in a zoo or safari park, endangered species and conservation. Whilst many of us don’t like to see animals in captivity many zoos do a fantastic job to help certain species survive and avoid extinction.
We’ve chosen some of our favourite zoo picture books to share with you, from board books for little ones to books full of humour for the older picture book audience.
Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell: This classic, lift the flap picture book introduces young children to a variety of animals in a fun way. This boldly illustrated picture book (also available as a board book) with it’s simple repetitive text is the perfect present for a new baby.
Poo in the Zoo by Steve Stallman and Ada Grey: Have you ever wondered who is responsible for cleaning up the poo at the zoo? Zookeeper Bob McGrew has seen all types of animal poo but one day he discovers a new type of of poo. Which animal is responsible and what will he do with it?
The Mixed-Up Chameleon by Eric Carle: A chameleon tries to change when he sees the animals in the zoo. Unfortunately by the end of the story he is thoroughly mixed up as he has a mix of attributes, one from each animal. Eric Carle’s trademark illustrations give children a wonderfully colourful introduction to different animals.
A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead: When zookeeper Amos McGee doesn’t turn up for work his animal friends visit him to find out what the matter is. In this wonderful story about friendship, the animals repay Amos for the care that he gives them in the zoo.
A Gold Star for George by Alice Hemming and Kimberley Scott: At The Heavenly Hippos Wildlife Park gold stars are being awarded to animals in various categories. Unfortunately George the giraffe doesn’t win any stars but his good qualities don’t go unnoticed by his friends who give him their own awards.
Supermarket Zoo by Caryl Hart and Ed Eaves: When Albie goes shopping with his mum he isn’t prepared for a supermarket with a difference. Albie’s mum is buying animals but will they be able to get them all in their car? It will be a squash especially with Albie’s mum’s final purchase!
Do you have a favourite zoo picture book to add to our list?