Saturday, 4 July 2015

Zoo Train


Zoo Train by Sally Sutton, illustrated by Daron Parton (Walker Books)
HC RRP $ 24.95
ISBN 9781922179876

Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

This is a humorous rhyming and rhythmic sing-song tale of a trip through the zoo on a train. The family has brought a picnic lunch with popcorn, juice, and cake. It’s a cold day but that doesn’t matter. Everyone is rugged up.

It’s all so exciting passing through the different areas, seeing all the big animals in their environment. The train goes past a monkey’s cage being cleaned out by the keepers. Have they shut the cage door properly?

Water falls on the boy’s head. His ears are cold. It seems to be snowing but only on him.  Why if he’s wearing a hat?  They have reached their destination and everyone gets out. His pants seem too big. They won’t stay up. What’s going on?

It’s time for a snack. The lunch bag is empty! The food is not the only thing missing. They go back the way they came in search of the missing items. The animals are enjoying the picnic lunch, wearing the boy’s hat, scarf and belt. Who and where is the culprit?

This simply has to be read aloud. The sounds and rhythm move to a musical beat. The illustrations in mixed media are striking and the characters’ expressions speak for themselves. Young readers will love listening to this, while following the pictures and guessing who the guilty animal is. There is so much to see on every page. It’s a visual feast ideal for readers 3+ years.





 



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