A ROOM WITH A ZOO by Jules Feiffer
Kirkus Star

A ROOM WITH A ZOO

Age Range: 7 - 10
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KIRKUS REVIEW

“I have a zoo in my room. I need it. Because I’m either going to be a vet when I grow up or a zookeeper.” Indeed, to say Julie, nine, is obsessed with animals would be an understatement. Julie’s first pet ever is a sickly cat from the animal shelter named Timmy—a disaster. The make-up-for-the-disaster pet is a hamster, and a motley menagerie soon follows. Feiffer’s vivacious illustrations that scamper through the pages are as spare and expressive as ever, and offer the first clue that Julie is African-American, adopted by a white family. While adoption isn’t the main theme, the fact that Julie is essentially adopting animals makes for some cleverly subtle parallels. (She realizes when her fish Oscar eats his tankmate: “You have to keep your child even if he’s bad”). Julie’s voice and perspectives are childlike and often hilarious, effectively captured in breathless run-on sentences or short choppy ones. Children and adults alike will appreciate everything from over-the-top slapstick fiascos to Julie’s wonderfully funny, insightful observations of pet-human and human-human dynamics. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-7868-3702-0
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Michael di Capua/Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2005




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