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TWO AT THE ZOO by Danna Smith


by Danna Smith & illustrated by Valeria Petrone

Age Range: 2 - 6

Pub Date: Feb. 16th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-547-04982-3
Publisher: Clarion

Smith takes readers on a whirlwind trip to the zoo with a small boy and his grandpa. After buying matching safari hats, the duo makes the rounds of the animals, counting what they see. From parrots and penguins to eagles and wart hogs, the formula is the same: “Scaly lizards. Color tricks. / Licking, sticking… / We count 6.” To round out the day, grandpa and grandson have a hot dog and see the sea show. The train takes them back to the gate where they bid goodbye to the zoo and all its animals and promise to return another day. Petrone’s digital gouache illustrations milk facial expressions for all they’re worth on all the characters, human and animal alike, masterfully capturing the antics of a young boy imitating the animals he sees. While this is not a standout in the overcrowded counting-book genre, there are many elements that make it a great read-aloud for library groups. The rollicking, rhyming text scans well, and the zoo setting allows children to practice their animal-identification skills. (Picture book. 2-6)