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Welcome to the Zoo! Hardcover – October 16, 2008


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"Playtown: Airport" by Roger Priddy
Roger Priddy's passion for educating children through fun, informative books has led him to create some of the most enduring early learning books. See more
$12.75 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 3 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2—Jay leads readers on a journey through a fantastical zoo in this wordless picture book. Here, there are no cages, and the animals interact freely with the families and zookeepers roaming the park. The book has numerous mini-stories. Children can follow a family of four, a boy with a penguin balloon, and a couple with a perky French poodle, or simply watch the mischievous animals engage in remarkably humanlike activities. One side of the last spread asks readers: "Now that you've walked through the zoo, can you find…?" and shows cameos for careful observers to spot. The other side challenges perceptive youngsters: "What else can you find?" and asks questions such as "Whose legs are these?" and "Whose lunch is this?" Jay's distinctive crackle-varnished paintings are light and fun. Her colors are soft and her shapes rounded, making the animals as friendly as the stuffed toys on a child's bed. Youngsters will have a grand time tracing the movements of everything from parakeets to pandas.—Carrie Rogers-Whitehead, Kearns Library, UT
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In this fantastical offering, English illustrator Jay creates a zoo without the usual barriers between the animals and their visitors. When it opens, people swarm the entrance where beaks, trunks, and heads of curious animals peek out from hedges and trees as they observe the approaching humans. After the opening two-page picture map, each horizontal scene includes a large cast of people and animals engaged in dozens of individual activities and interactions. The oil paintings reward close attention with amusing visual details and small wordless dramas that carry through from page to page. Jay’s signature style is clearly in evidence here, not only in the people’s dainty limbs extending from elegantly elongated bodies with ballooning torsos and skirts, but also in the paintings’ crackled-varnish finish that creates random, yet pleasing effects. The closing pages feature seek-and-find games that will send children hunting through the pages once again. Polished yet playful, this nearly wordless picture book is an engaging choice. Preschool-Grade 2. --Carolyn Phelan
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Dial Books (October 16, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803731779
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803731776
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 0.4 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #383,168 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

It is beautifully illustrated and fun for all.
T. Swart
Although there are no words there has been more thought and love put into the stories within these pages than most any other book for my son I've read.
S. M. gantner
And it's always a pleasure to read it with her.
Walter J. Adamson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
There's no words in this book. I mention this first up because it took me a while to notice. Welcome to the Zoo is such a delight with so much detail on each jam-packed hilarious page that I was so busy discussing with my niece everything that is going on on each page, following each person & animal through the book, that we didn't even think to look for a story till much later on. It is a lot of fun and very sweet & funny. It has a section at the back with "Can you find...:" but you don't really need it as the book so naturally lends itself to interaction without extra prompting. And Alison Jay's illustrations are, as ever, a complete delight.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By T. Swart on November 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a must have book! It is beautifully illustrated and fun for all. It is wonderfully simple, yet creative. You can spend a few minutes following one animal through this book or 20 minutes laughing at all sorts of scenarios. Just lovely! It's my new favorite gift book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. M. gantner on August 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book is a real treasure in the sea of children's books. My wife and I read a lot to our son and he has his own little library now. Welcome to the Zoo has a been a favorite for a long time (he is 3 1/2). Although there are no words there has been more thought and love put into the stories within these pages than most any other book for my son I've read.

Each page shows how multiple families and pets move through this richly illustrated story. As a reader you can follow all the events that occur to one character from page to page or try to see everything (hard to do!) on each. My son enjoys it now because he cannot read yet but he can follow the events that happen to the people and animals. And because there is no words we are free to make up our own stories for each character.

This is a great book and I cannot express enough how entertaining it is for my son and I. I hope others enjoy it as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lindsay Morris on October 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love Alison Jay's illustrations, which is why I purchased this book - one thing I didn't realize until I got it was that there are no words, which was a surprise, but it is actually so much better for it. The pictures have so many things to look at and you can create your own story lines as you go if you want, or just guess what all the people and animals are doing. My daugther is almost two and has recently fallen in love with this book - she runs to it when she gets up in the morning and spends a ton of time looking at the pictures and flipping the pages to find the same characters on different pages. I highly recommend it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Walter J. Adamson on October 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover
We borrowed this book from the local library and have had to renew it several times as our 19 month-old daughter just reads it endlessly. Several times a day and most nights before she has her bath. She knows stories for every animal and scene, which is its beauty since it has no words. The illustrations are gorgeous. She knows all the details, and she can immediately relate the stylized animals to the real animals we have in our photos from the zoo, like the ostrich.

I'm amazed how obsessed she is with it, which is a credit to the author. And it's always a pleasure to read it with her.

Walter @adamson
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By Caffreys7 on February 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I was stunned to see how few reviews there are for this book. What a shame! I have ordered so many books from Amazon for my two young children, including many of the "classics", and my family (husband included) agrees that this is our favorite book. If I could only keep one book this would be the one. There are no words in this book, but there is so much going on that you can see something new each time you look at it. Because there are no words it is obviously not ideal for children learning to read, but for the really little ones this is ideal. The illustrations are just gorgeous. Once you buy this book you will want to buy other books illustrated by Alison Jay.
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Format: Board book Verified Purchase
This may be the best book by Alison Jay I have read.
I must admit that I enjoy it at least as much as my 1.5 y.o. son (and he likes it a lot!).
There are clear pictures with well recognizable animals, which is important for babies.
In addition to that, there are a lot of fine details (some of which are hilarious), which makes this book interesting day after day.
Not once did I find myself and my husband going through the book after putting my baby to bed.
I wish there were new cardboard editions available, since this is a present I would love to give!
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Format: Hardcover
We got this book for our daughter who is 2 from her uncle and it is a lovely book. The colors are soft and the fact that there are no words makes it fun to make up new stories each time. Another review states that the animals are distorted in the drawings and all I can say to that is that if you take a look at the cartoons that the kids are into now, they are ugly and loud. I would rather look at lovely paintings with our little girl any day. Highly recommend
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