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

Saturday 29 July 2017

Review: The Alien Zoo... And You!

If you know an eight to 12-year-old who loves reading funny, quirky stories with a healthy dose of grossness, you need to check out The Alien Zoo… And You!

In this fresh and funny junior fiction novel, twins Ben and Jen inherit their grandfather’s job as an alien zookeeper for the secret alien zoo hidden in the mountain behind his farmhouse.

But the alien zoo is falling apart, and on the twins’ first day on the job, the zoo’s creepy official owners threaten to close the zoo down unless Ben and Jen can fix all the problems AND impress a VIP guest with a stellar zoo tour. 

With aliens out of cages, spaceships about to crash land and an intelligent computer system that's no help at all, Ben and Jen have to work together to save their new jobs and the zoo their grandfather loved.

Author Adrian Beck is also a TV producer, and you can tell. He knows how to engage kids, and the story has been designed so that the reader is involved in the story, like a third main character, right alongside Ben and Jen.

Throughout the book there are prompts to stare at visual illusions, create paper planes and make alien sound effects. There a puzzles to solve, codes to crack and a fun quiz at the end that reveals secrets about the story.

Heath McKenzie’s illustrations are genius. They are silly, kooky and detailed, and the book is jam-packed with them, so there’s never too much text on any one page. This will appeal to all kids, but particularly reluctant readers or kids transitioning to longer books.

So funny, so much fun and highly interactive, junior fiction readers will adore this book. And the best part? The Alien Zoo… And you! is book one in a series. So the adventures don’t end here.

Title: The Alien Zoo... And You!
Author: Adrian Beck
Illustrator: Heath McKenzie
Publisher: Affirm, $15.99
Publication Date: July 2017
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781925475630
For ages: 8 - 12
Type: Junior Fiction