What It Is
Winter at the Springfield zoo can be a slow time, and the animals were feeling lazy and bored. One day, a young hippo and kangaroo decided to break up the monotony by creating a hip-hoppity beat that soon had all the animals singing and dancing. They decided to stage a musical production, called a “ZooZical,” to showcase all of the animals’ unique talents. The animals sang their own versions of popular tot songs, such as “it’s a tall world after all...”, sung by the giraffes, and “for he’s a jolly gorilla ...”, sung by the gorillas, of course. Once word got out, crowds of people started coming back to the zoo and the mid-winter doldrums disappeared for all.
Why It’s Fun
The winter “doldrums” tend to set in during February, even though most parts of the country haven’t had a harsh season. What better way to add some joy to the day than with music? Judy Sierra’s rhyming verse is a smooth read that begs the reader to build excitement using different voice tones. Parents and kids will have a ball singing lines of the “adapted” songs, such as “the seals on the bus go ‘round and ‘round” and “oh my darling porcupine,” among other childhood classics. While Ms. Sierra just gives us one line of these tunes, she opens the door for readers to explore their creative side and make up additional lines and verses. The illustrations, by Arthur creator Marc Brown, provide the perfect backdrop for the story with brilliant coloration, and are fun to look at again and again.
Who’s Going To Love It
This is a fun read for toddlers, preschoolers and those on the younger end of the publisher’s recommended age range. Older kids may prefer more modern tunes and might see the story as “babyish.” But for the younger set, the whimsical story and musical fun make this an ideal picture book for beating the winter blues or any time of year.
About 4 minutes
9 out of 10
Written by: Judy Sierra; Pictures by Marc Brown
Published by: Alfred A. Knopf (2011)
Approximate retail price: $17.99
Publisher’s recommended ages: 4-8