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Mr. Peek and the Misunderstanding at the Zoo Hardcover – May 11, 2010

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Product Details

  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 12
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Templar; 1 edition (May 11, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763645494
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763645496
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 9.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,708,058 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Waldron's debut, published in the U.K. in 2008, Mr. Peek the zookeeper finds his uniform jacket much too tight one morning, and his disgruntlement almost spoils everyone's day. You're getting very fat, he tells himself, and a nearby hippo looks aghast, thinking he's talking about her. The elephants hear him grumble, Look how wrinkly you are, and the giraffes get paranoid at his muttering, None of the animals even like you. When Mr. Peek discovers he has mistaken his son's green jacket for his own (which fits just fine), his mood lifts. He strolls through the zoo a second time, speaking in brisk affirmatives and the animals sigh with relief. Waldron, whose digital caricatures and landscapes suggest fastidiously colored-in pencil doodles, pictures Mr. Peek as a lanky, mustachioed John Cleese type. Mr. Peek plods at first, then silly-walks with glee. Although he is clownish, both his bad and good attitudes are contagious. While Waldron's comical story may have kids repeating Mr. Peek's favorite expression of dismay—Oh, poop!—it also serves as an excellent reminder to practice optimism in words and deeds. All ages. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2—Poor Mr. Peek thinks he has suddenly gained a tremendous amount of weight when he puts on his zookeeper jacket and a button pops off. As he makes his morning rounds, he complains to himself about how fat and wrinkled he is. "Oh, woe is me! You're getting very fat," he despairs aloud. "None of the animals even like you!" he mutters as he passes the giraffes. He is so sorry for himself that he does not notice that the zoo animals are worried because they think he is talking to them. Luckily, he returns home to discover that he had inadvertently switched jackets with his son. Feeling better now that his clothes fit, Mr. Peek makes his rounds again, this time reassuring himself (and the relieved animals) that everything is fine. Waldron's digital-media illustrations humorously convey the alarmed expressions of the animals while the quirky font and creative text placement reinforce Mr. Peek's stream-of-consciousness muttering as he wanders through the zoo. Pair this with Peggy Rathman's Good Night, Gorilla (Putnam, 2002) for a fun storytime about clueless zookeepers.—Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By www.firrkids.com on May 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Have you ever had one of those days where your clothes seem extraordinarily tight? You finally make the connection between the french fries you love and the love handles you don't. It occurs to you that maybe eating glazed crullers for breakfast every day isn't doing your butt any favors. Sadly, it doesn't end there. Those tight pants are making you pretty irritable, which affects your whole day. Now you know how Mr. Peek feels!

One ordinary morning, like every other morning, Mr. Peek dons his very official looking green zookeeper jacket. Except this morning, the jacket stretches tightly across his shoulders and a button sproings right off the front. Oh, this is not a good start to Mr. Peek's day. He tries to tell himself "it's only a button" but his thoughts go downhill from there. Mr. Peek starts to lament how heavy he has become, how the animals are probably all making fun of his girth, and how he's getting too old and wrinkly to do this job.

Mr. Peek doesn't realize it, but his shrinking jacket and negative attitude is affecting the whole zoo. Each time he makes a derogatory comment about himself, the animals in each section of the zoo assume he's talking about them! The hippo thinks she's too heavy, the bear is positive he stinks and the elephant is hyper aware of her deep wrinkles. The crocodiles are nervous, the penguins don't want to eat and the giraffes believe none of the other animals like them. Mr. Peek is wreaking havoc on the zoo, albeit unintentionally.

On his rounds, Mr. Peek stumbles across his son, Jimmy, wearing a very large green jacket. Why, he hasn't hasn't gained too much weight, but simply donned his son's much smaller jacket!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My 6 year old loved this book, it was a hit. Plan on getting more of these books in the future!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a lovely book - You will enjoy everything about this book again and again! Beautiful art works and funny, charming, and heat warming story. Children will love with all the adorable animals! There is no doubt why this was selected for the Opera Prima award at Bologna Children's Book Fair (2009). Kind of a book you want to grow up with.... Highly recommend it!
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By B. De Gregorio on January 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This book is lame. The central plotline is that Mr. Peek, mistakenly thinking he is fat because he put on the wrong coat, mutters derogatory comments to himself at the zoo, while the animals all think he is muttering derogatory comments about them. Then later, when Mr. Peek puts on the right coat (which fits properly), he mutters happy comments to himself, and the animals all feel better. I think it is a great concept for toddlers--that your words could have different meaning based on their context. Unfortunately, I don't think the book does a good job of it. For starters, it's not always clear whether the animals are upset because they think they are being insulted or because they are worried for Mr. Peek. Other times, the animals' feelings are not stated but only implied by the pictures. In addition, Mr. Peek speaks almost entirely in colloquialisms, such as "Nonetheless" and "That will be the end of you" and "feeling blue", which make this book a bit advanced for younger kids. There are a lot of advanced words like "glum" and "intended". Overall, the comprehension of the story is quite complex. What this boils down to is that the book is for older toddlers, but older toddlers are ready for books with more text.

Personally, I think the illustrations are ugly. They are similar to Marc Boutavant illustrations, but while those are beautiful, these are chunky and disproportionate. Mr. Peeks swollen, distended hands freak me out. However, the picture of the entire zoo inside the front and back covers is quite nice.

As an alternative zoo-themed story, I would recommend "A Sick Day for Amos McGee" instead of this one.
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