'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.' - author Jackie French

Monday, 7 April 2014

Review: The Way to the Zoo

The Way to the Zoo is the latest in a long line of picture books from the award-winning John Burningham, author and illustrator of books like Mr Gumpy’s Outing and Granpa.

Just imagine if a magical door in your bedroom led to a zoo. That’s what happens to Sylvie, who discovers the door’s secret. One day she walks through it, down the steps and along the passage to another door. Behind that door is a zoo full of animals who all want to visit Sylvie’s bedroom. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, there’s not enough room for them all, so they take it in turns to visit her - a different animal each night.

Sylvie soon finds that animals are not all they are cracked up to be - they can be messy, smelly, noisy, and even emotional. The day Sylvie forgets to close the door to the zoo when she leaves for school, is the day everything gets a bit out of hand. Can Sylvie keep her zoo a secret, or will her mother find out?

Using a device somewhat reminiscent of other tales where a whole world lays hidden beyond a secret door (like in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe), or exposed by a child’s imagination (such as in Where the Wild Things Are), The Way to the Zoo is a delightful animal romp. 

There are classroom ideas notes available for this book.

Title: The Way to the Zoo
Author/Illustrator: John Burningham
Publisher: Walker Books, $24.95 RRP
Publication Date: April 2014
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781406348408
For ages: 3-7
Type: Picture book

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