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ZOOZICAL by Judy Sierra


by Judy Sierra & illustrated by Marc Brown

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Aug. 23rd, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-375-86847-4
Publisher: Knopf

Carrying on where they left off with Wild About Books (2004), their Seuss homage, Sierra and Brown find the good citizens of Springfield, and especially the residents of the zoo, overcome by the doldrums of winter.

It’s windy and cold and snowy, and the sky can’t get any lower. Leave it to two young’uns—a hippo and a kangaroo—to light the kind of fire that will get folks up and moving. In this case, a musical—or, more appropriately, a ZooZical—in which all the animals find a niche and partake in a peaceable kingdom mega-performance. Sierra and Brown have worked together enough by now to feel comfortable in each other’s presence. They play off one another extremely well. Sierra’s rhymed text is playful, with sassy touches—“Then on to the stage rolled ten seals on a bus, / Barking, ‘Let’s sing a tune that is all about us!’ ”—and her pacing is peerless. In lockstep with the proceedings are Brown’s illustrations: merry and alive with energy. Here the raccoons are doing a jitterbug, there the snakes are exuberantly tying themselves into knots, while chorus lines of giraffes and macaques step out in style.

A book of sheer exuberance—vocal and visual—which surely will be reflected during read-alouds. (Picture book. 4-8)