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ZooZical Hardcover – August 9, 2011


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ZooZical + Wild About Books
Price for both: $26.07

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (August 9, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 037586847X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375868474
  • Product Dimensions: 12.2 x 9.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #238,355 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

A Letter from Author Judy Sierra
I think of my new book, ZooZical, as a little kids’ Broadway musical. The idea came to me a few years ago, after my picture book The Sleepy Little Alphabet was published. I couldn’t wait to read it aloud to the kindergarten classes at the school where my husband was principal. When the children saw the final illustration--twenty-six little letters asleep in twenty-six little beds--they burst out singing “The Alphabet Song.” What fun it would be, I thought, to write a picture book based on classic children’s songs! I knew who the cast and crew of my musical ZooZical would be: the zoo animals from Wild About Books, illustrated by Marc Brown.

“Let’s put on a show” is an old and very productive story line. I could picture so many scenes of animals performing. But what would their motivation be? I looked out my office window at gray skies. It had been raining for weeks on end. Might the animals be seeking a cure for the midwinter doldrums? If terrible weather was getting them down, then kids and families were probably staying home, too, and life at the zoo would be bleak without humorous humans to watch. Putting on a show could cheer up the animals, and also bring visitors back to the zoo.

I wrote ZooZical in rhymed couplets and triplets, to a Seussian beat (anapestic tetrameter, mostly). I find this meter ideal for storytelling--so perfect, in fact, that it often conjures up parts of a tale as if by magic. As I brainstormed ZooZical, two main characters--a very small hippo and a young kangaroo--hopped into the story, unannounced, as the main characters. They are clever and creative enough to come up with the idea of putting on a musical, and talented enough to play starring roles in the production. Other animals dance and sing to silly versions of old favorites like “Oh My Darling, Porcupine,” “The Seals on the Bus,” and “The Zoo Hokey Pokey.” Everyone discovers that music, creativity, friendship, and cooperation are tip-top antidotes for any sort of doldrums.

After many months of work and countless revisions, I emailed the ZooZical manuscript to my editor at Knopf, Janet Schulman, and to the marvelous Marc Brown, who gave it two thumbs and six paintbrushes up. As I write this, Marc is sketching scenes for the third picture book in this series, set at the mythical Springfield Zoo.

Review

Starred Review, PublishersWeekly, June 6, 2011:
"Teens have Glee, tweens have High School Musical, and with this snappy follow-up to Wild About Books younger siblings can delight in the joy of putting on a show...With humor and gusto, Brown's richly textured folk art–inspired pictures convey the characters' dramatic shift in moods and imbue them with abundant personality. Meanwhile, Sierra's riffs on familiar tunes guarantee that readings will be very musical affairs, with children enthusiastic participants."

More About the Author

Judy Sierra versifies in the tradition of Lewis Carroll and Dr. Seuss, playing with the language of rhythm and rhymes, sense and nonsense. Her 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.

"I write scripts for special events," Sierra explains. "My books are meant to be read aloud to classrooms, storytime groups, and by parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and special friends. Most books contain something a bit naughty along with many things that are laugh-out-loud outrageous."

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

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We read, we sing, we dance!
Tatiana Pavlova
The characters are catching and fun and the story itself turns out to be such a happy one.
Ovidia Fasciani
My four year old chose this book at our local library.
Kelley Cutforth

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By MommyDiva on September 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My four year old loves the rhyming, musical theme, and pictures. This is a great compliment to Wild About Books by the same author and illustrator.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ovidia Fasciani on October 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I use this book at kindy. Covers so many areas. The children absolutely love it. A book to read over and over again and extract new insight each time. The characters are catching and fun and the story itself turns out to be such a happy one. I look for books that would capture the imaginations of my 3 to 4 year olds who love stories and this one was a great success!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kelley Cutforth on July 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
My four year old chose this book at our local library. We've read it every day for three weeks and it's now on her birthday wish list. She loves the 'play on words' with her favorite children's songs, in insists on singing the a-b-c song by herself. She's interested in new vocabulary words like "doldrums" and "acrobat". I'm enjoying reading it with her, even night after night after night.
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