WHEN NO-ONE'S LOOKING AT THE ZOO by Zana Fraillon

WHEN NO-ONE'S LOOKING AT THE ZOO

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 7

KIRKUS REVIEW

The animals have their own, surprising ways of having fun.

Seven two-page spreads offer a fairly normal picture of zoo activity accompanied by a bright bit of verse. But open the folded-over right-hand page and... the monkeys "swing from vines / with the greatest of ease. / They gobble-gulp bananas / and screech in the trees. / But when no-one's looking...," they frolic in a big swimming pool, wearing bathing caps and goggles, with one even reading a book on a raft, a drink (complete with umbrella) clutched in one foot. The giraffes secretly like to water ski, the seals dance in a beautiful ballroom, and the elephants love to go skateboarding. Who knew? The bears sniff and growl when the visitors to the zoo are watching, but secretly they have a snappy combo of piano, bass, flute and tambourine. The final spread has all the animals staring at the reader: "When no-one is looking / what do you do?" All different kinds of play turns out to be the answer. Fraillon's poems have crisp rhythms and some nice phonic touches; with no verse on the hidden pages, though, they feel rather incomplete. Masciullo's paintings are bright and beautifully textured, but her figures are disappointingly generic.

Nice but unexceptional—once the fun of lifting the gatefolds is past. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-1921502460
Page count: 25pp
Publisher: Trafalgar
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2012




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