What do zoo animals eat?
Clear, colorful photographs accompany a very simple text to answer this question. This title, originally published as a picture-book paperback in 2000, has been simplified for its transition to the Step into Reading series. Using a very basic vocabulary, simple sentences and repetition, the text touches on food preparation and feeding for elephants, zebras, giraffes, a panda, pigs, tortoises, porcupines, tigers, alligators, a sea lion, polar bears, a macaw, a cockatoo and flamingos. Children feed snacks to goats and eat ice pops themselves. Many of the pictures are the same as in the earlier edition, but some have been reworked. A few new images emphasize the feeding connection: The hand holds a meatball for the tiger behind the bars; another hand feeds a banana to a porcupine. The animal portraits will give struggling readers pleasure, but the narrative, full of exclamation points and questions, will not. Where previously the tiger “struts into her yard and relaxes under a shady tree,” here “he naps in the sun.” This new version may offer practice in associating letter combinations with sounds, but it won’t convey any of the enjoyment that reading can offer. Animal feeding is much more exciting in the DK reader Feeding Time, by Lee Davis(2001), which describes animals in the wild and even includes a picture index.
A lesser choice for beginning readers. (Early reader. 5-7)