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ANIMAL STRIKE AT THE ZOO. IT’S TRUE! by Karma Wilson

ANIMAL STRIKE AT THE ZOO. IT’S TRUE!

By Karma Wilson (Author) , Margaret Spengler (Illustrator)

Age Range: 7 - 9

Pub Date: June 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-06-057502-6
Publisher: HarperCollins

Sunny scenes featuring dot-eyed, shiny-surfaced zoo animals give this otherwise ill-conceived outing visual polish, at least. In a plot that will warm the cockles of anti-unionist hearts, the animals declare a strike—“ ‘We’re paid only peanuts!’ the elephants shout. / ‘And goodness, we’re bigger than that.’ / So now they won’t trumpet or lumber about. / They sit in the shade, looking fat.” A weeping child shames them into going back to work, whereupon they realize that “they actually like what they do.” Intentionally or not, an even clearer message emerges as the zookeeper, supposedly “doing the best that he can,” offers the elephants pecans and a shorter work day, but those ungrateful monkeys complain that the water in their small new kiddy pool is cold, and the zebras stubbornly reject the proffered oats, demanding the right to choose their own feed. Young readers will not only stumble over the text’s markedly irregular metrics, they are also likely to wonder how animals on strike are different from those on the job, as standing or sitting idly about is what real zoo residents usually do anyway. (Picture book. 7-9)