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My Heart Is Like a Zoo Hardcover – December 22, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The bold digital collages of zoo animals in this debut picture book are clear and bright, and the simple rhymes about feelings will have preschoolers savoring the words, joining in, and pointing at every playful zoo scene, each featuring one animal per page. Even toddlers will enjoy talking about the scenarios, especially after they see the final spread with the small “zookeeper” asleep in his bed, his beloved animal toys snuggled around him. Kids will easily recognize the emotions in the words—“Snappy as a crab, / angry as a bear, / bothered as a bull / with a hornet in its hair”—as well as the more positive feelings—“Brave as a lion, / thoughtful as an owl, / peaceful as a portly walrus / lounging on a towel.” A final note points out that all the collage pictures are made up of heart-shaped pieces, more than 300 in all, and older kids might want to count them. Preschool. --Hazel Rochman

Review

“It stole my heart.” (Robert Sabuda, New York Times bestselling author)

“Starting with one simple shape, Michael Hall shows us a nearly infinite number of ways to make a menagerie of love.” (Brian Selznick, Caldecott Medalist)

“Now hear this! The art in this book will astonish Earth!” (Chris Raschka, Caldecott Medalist)

“Michael Hall’s My Heart Is Like a Zoo is a combination of deceptive simplicity and gorgeous graphic design. Colorful, fun, and thoroughly enjoyable.” (Laura Vaccaro Seeger, Caldecott Honor Artist, New York Times bestselling author)

“The bold digital collages of zoo animals in this debut picture book are clear and bright, and the simple rhymes about feelings will have preschoolers savoring the words, joining in, and pointing at every playful zoo scene.” (ALA Booklist)

“Animals, adjectives and hearts—lots of hearts—combine in this bright, appealing selection, reminiscent of the works of Lois Ehlert.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Children just learning about shapes will revel in these pages.” (Publishers Weekly)

“This title will have a wide audience, whether in a classroom, library, or at home. An outstanding choice for one-on-one sharing.” (School Library Journal)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool - Kindergarten
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books (December 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061915106
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061915109
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.4 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,384 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
All young children have little feelings in their hearts and heads, but it is often difficult for them to understand or express their emotions. This little book of twenty animals, all made up in part of "heart" shapes, can help parents, caretakers and teachers help them understand and express their feelings, emotions and attitudes. This is a fun book of heart words and feelings in the shape of herons, hippos, caterpillars, clams, bears, crabs and many other animals.

"My heart is like a zoo-
eager as a beaver,
steady as a yak,
hopeful as a hungry heron, hoping for a snack . . . "

This adorable "heart" story in rhyme is one of those perfect books to read and discuss during story or circle time. Each of the brief descriptions of an animal can be linked to a primary emotion. The artwork is ingeniously designed to incorporate several heart shapes in each colorful animal. The whole book simply shouts read me and read me again. There are "more than three hundred hearts" in the design of this book for youngsters to count. This book can simply be a captivating page turner for the littlest "readers" or a learning experience for the older ones. If you want an instant classic, this is one you might want to consider!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By M. Talalay on December 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Kiwi Magazine Review:
I *heart* this book. Although many may see this colorful children's picture book as just a sweet bedtime tale, it is the perfect Valentine craft for kids as well. Imagine the critters that can be made out of heart shapes in various sizes. This book is a breath of fresh air in the shelves full of books about zoo animals. We would recommend it for ages 2-5.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M. Darling on February 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a 70 year old, I enjoyed the creative designs and colors in the book, but I was concerned that the children would think it was too "babyish." That was not the case. It provided them with ideas for creating their own Valentines, and now my refrigerator door has new decorations. Lots of fun.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By heartnursejt on October 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is amazing. The pictures are so colorful and bold, and it is a great springboard for discussion of various feelings. Since all the pictures are made of hearts, it would be a great craft idea as well. Well done!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By xobeautyUK on February 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I love this book.

As an ESL/ESOL/ELL teacher, I was able to use this book for a similes and metaphors unit plan project for my intermediate 6th grade ELL students. I used this book on the very last day of the unit. I read the book to my students and showed them the pictures, then I told them that they had to recreate two of the pictures in this book. For one of the recreations, they had to write a simile that had to do with the animal and for the other recreation, they had to write a metaphor that had to do with the animal. The similes and metaphors that they wrote had to be their own and could not come from the examples in the book. For example, for the lion, they could have written: Billy is as strong as a lion and that would show me that they know how to create a simile.

It was a GREAT and very successful project. The students had fun and it took the entire class period. It was a great way for my students to truly understand similes and metaphors.

I always try to find picture books that I can use as supplementary materials in my classroom and this is a perfect addition to my collection.
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Format: Hardcover
This book contains page after page of similes of what my heart is like such as "steady as a yak," "cool as a penguin," and "gloomy as a lone coyote walking in the fog." Each animal is created out of colorful heart shapes such as what you see on the cover.

I was torn on my opinion of this book. On one hand, as a book that is supposed to teach emotions I felt the examples were entirely too abstract for ages 0-5 to understand. For example: "cozy as a clam." What is this supposed to mean in relation to feelings? On this concept it falls very short of the mark. On the other hand this book is a good example of similes, an introduction to different animals, teaches shapes and colors, is a great springboard for an art project, has a good rhythm, and is a good beginning reader book because there are only a few words on each page. So in my opinion it fails at its intended purpose, but is still a good overall and enjoyable book.

I would give it a three stars, but because it has so many redeeming qualities I will round up. I recommend for ages 3-6
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My Heart is like a Zoo shows the reader how one simple shape, the Valentine heart, can be used and slightly modified to make many different larger, complex shapes-- those of animals in this case. Michael Hall's illustrations at first look simple, until closer observation brings out the complex nature of what Mr. Hall has accomplished. The process for my students of recreating some of the images, and making their own, with construction paper excited them. It also highly challenged them, as they needed to be conscious of what they were seeing, and had to make carefully thought-out decisions.
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By Hermi on August 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
My 4 month old baby totally loves it! She just started recognizing colors and contrasts, she simply can't take her eyes off the sharp contrasting colors and the big shapes. The phrases on each page are short and rhythmic, and the size of the book is big and easy to flip pages, all this while holding baby in my lap! We have been reading/seeing this book at least 2 times everyday and she actually recognizes and gets excited as I bring this out!

The colors and all animals being depicted a collage of the hearts is simply awesome!
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