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There's a Zoo in Room 22 Hardcover – August 1, 2000


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Miss Darling of room 22 is a very special teacher indeed. When asked by her students if they could have "a truly awesome classroom pet," Miss Darling replied, "Yes! Or better yet,/Let's choose a whole pet alphabet." So, from Amanda Anaconda to the zorilla, an unexpected pet (the class thought a zorilla would be a kind of gorilla--"a warmhearted ape with plenty of spunk./Surprise! A zorilla is only a skunk."), room 22 becomes a veritable menagerie of some rather unusual critters. Take the electric eel, for example.
Please don't ask to feel
Our electric eel,
Because, if you bug him,
We cannot unplug him.
Or the octopus, a geometry expert that tries to fold itself into a hexaflexagon. Then there's the surfing newt, the kissing yak ("Yuck!"), and the turkey that, in Thanksgiving-shirking disguise, somehow ends up as the assistant principal.

Judy Sierra, award-winning author of such superb picture books as Counting Crocodiles and Antarctic Antics: A Book of Penguin Poems strikes gold again with this playful collection of animal alphabet verses. Her text is charmingly accompanied by Barney Saltzberg's (creator of such marvels as Mrs. Morgan's Lawn) comfy, cartoonish full-spread pictures, many of which include hints of upcoming animals. Warning: students everywhere will soon be begging their teachers for pet fleas, vultures, and jaguarundi. (Ages 6 to 10) --Emilie Coulter

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3-Classroom pets? Room 22 has an abundance of them-one for every letter of the alphabet, from cat to quahog, from anaconda to katydid. Each 4-to-12 line poem portrays some of the common behaviors and personality characteristics inherent to each creature. There's a lunch-stealing lemur, a bad-smelling warthog, and a parrot that gets sent to the principal's office. Saltzberg's colored-pencil and watercolor cartoons meld well with the humorous tone of the text. Each one-to-two page spread is filled with energy, showing the featured animal and the multiethnic students that populate Miss Darling's classroom. Most of the poems are in rhymed couplets, but a few tamper with the meter. Occasional word choices, e.g., "moose"/"boots," "muscle"/"octopuzzle" are a bit of a stretch. Overall, though, this engaging collection is sure to entice listeners to create a zoo (real or imagined) of their own and perhaps to compose original poems as well. A good choice for animal units, plus useful for early readers still working on their alphabet skills.
Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 1
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Gulliver Books; English Language edition (August 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152020330
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152020330
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 9.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,330,488 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Judy Sierra's picture book texts have won the E.B. White Read-Aloud Award, Parents' Choice awards, Children's Choice awards, Readers' Choice awards from many of the 50 states, and have been named Notable Books by the American Library Association.

Visit her website: http://www.judysierra.net

Judy's newest picture book is E-I-E-I-O: How Old MacDonald Got His Farm (With a Little Help from a Hen). "Kids have been singing about Old Mac for fifty years or more, but until now, no one has explained how he got that farm of his. After a bit of sleuthing, combined with spoofing, I discovered that this agricultural legend owes a lot to a famous chicken, the Little Red Hen, who helped him turn an annoying lawn into a productive organic farm, complete with farmstand."

Judy Sierra has been writing for children for 25 years. She lives with her husband in Portland, Oregon.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Roz Levine on October 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Miss Darling is an inspired teacher and when her students ask for a class pet, she turns the search into a class lesson, reciting a poem about an animal for each letter of the alphabet. Are they interested in Amanda Anaconda or Boring Beetle Bill...the Quiet Quohog or the Umbrella Bird...? Judy Sierra has written a funny, witty, very imaginative book of poems that will delight and amuse young children, as each letter of the alphabet is used to describe and give a little information about some familiar and many unfamiliar animals. Barney Saltzberg's colorful, expressive illustrations add just the right touch to each verse and children will enjoy looking for the hidden animals in each picture. This is a perfect book for youngsters aged 3-7 and a wonderful addition to all home libraries.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Children's Book Collector on August 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover
While most classroom's have a pet, the kids in Room 22 have a pet for each letter of the alphabet. From Amanda Anaconda to a zorilla (what's a zorilla?) we get to meet all of the classroom pets via Judy Sierra's humorous verse. Barney Saltzberg's playful illustrations are a fitting match with the witty text. My personal favorite is 'E'. What's yours?
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is so cute. The illustrations are so adorable. I bought this book for my friend's little sister's birthday and she loves it! The story is fun, too!
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By S. Butsch on July 3, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I volunteer at the Dallas Zoo, in Dallas, TX., and I am always looking for Zoo themed books to give to my Great Nephews. I thought this particular book was really cute and I will enjoy reading it to my Great Nephews.
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By M. Hancock on September 4, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book includes many different poems about animals beginning with the letters of the alphabet. It's cute, but not as good as some of Judy Sierra's other books. My son doesn't seems to like it too much. I recommend Wild About Books instead.
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