DEAR ZOO by Rod Campbell


by & illustrated by & developed by
Age Range: 2 - 5
Available on the App Store
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If you write to the zoo to send you a pet, you never know what you’ll get. 

Based on Campbell’s 1982 lift-the-flap nursery favorite, this imagines what happens when you send the zoo a letter, asking for a pet. Page after page introduces a new pet that, once revealed, proves not to be quite right for a variety of reasons... until the perfect one arrives. The animation, while simple, is well suited to the story, and the interactivity level is just right. Toddlers will especially love tapping the crates to reveal the animals one by one. Swipe the elephant, and it grows bigger on the page, trumpeting. The grumpy camel’s eye follows readers' fingers as they move about, the snake slithers across the screen with a finger swipe and the monkey actually "grabs" onto readers' fingers. Best of all, the story makes its way into the digital world with great intention, serving worn-out parents well. There is simply no guesswork. The "About This App" option on the title page provides detailed navigation tips for getting the most out of the story, and goes even further to indicate all the interactive elements for each animal. There is a matching game available from the title page as well, which aids in word/story retention. The illustrations, while a bit one-dimensional, mirror the book.

Overall, this pet is a keeper, an animal classic that improves in the digital age. (iPad storybook app. 2-5)



Pub Date: Dec. 7th, 2011
Publisher: Macmillan UK
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2012


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