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Customer Review

137 of 160 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A So-So Book - a review of "Dear Zoo", November 22, 2005
This review is from: Dear Zoo (Dear Zoo & Friends) (Hardcover)
This book is okay. Others raved about it but my three year old son found it boring. The reason I think is that he *wasn't* introduced to this book as a baby or toddler. First books generally tend to remain favorites, so my advice would be not to buy this for a Preschooler. A baby or young toddler would probably like it fine.


-- Pretty sturdy flaps that open from different sides. This feature helps young children exercise both their memory and fine motor skills (little fingers)

-- 17 pages including the title page. I know the description says 24, but they must be counting blank pages and the covers pages.

-- Interesting subject for babies and toddlers.

-- Text is repetitive and helps with baby and toddler memory and prediction.


-- For Preschoolers content is boring. The eight animals chosen are 'old hat' by the time most children hit the 2 to 3 range. Animals are: Elephant, giraffe, lion, camel, snake, monkey, frog, dog.

-- There is no rhyme in the text. Rhyme is one way to teach young children about how words work in similar ways.

--Text generally (after the first page) runs along the lines of "So they sent me a ..." to which the answer is something like "He was too ___ ! I sent him back." [The animal that was kept was a puppy.]

Three Stars. Average book in a large field of similar products. "Dear Zoo" seems sturdy (we borrowed ours from the library and one would assume it has seen lots of use) and the drawings are so simple that babies won't have a problem focusing on the subject animal.

Take a look at Amazon's "Search inside this book" feature for an example of text and artwork ("Surprise Me").
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 24, 2012 12:30:07 PM PDT
Rachel S says:
Thanks for commenting about "no rhyme". I found this important even for infants and toddlers.

Posted on Apr 17, 2013 10:07:52 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 1, 2015 11:28:52 PM PDT
Peaches says:
Both my sons loved this book, and I introduced it to my grandson at 4 and he loved it every bit as much. Part of it may be in the reading....reading is an adventure in our house, and we read with great excitement.....pausing and waiting for him to guess what's in the container. The element of guessing in the beginning and then the element of thinking he might know it, then the confidence of knowing for sure and be rewarding with our thrill that he knows's all about the presentation and the love. I would highly recommend it!

Edited Oct 1, 2015 to add that my grandson is now 8, and an extremely good reader. He still loves this book! He loves to read it to his 2 yo sister (whom also loves it), and he still very much enjoys when we're relaxing in bed and I read it to him.

Posted on Jun 15, 2013 9:12:37 AM PDT
Peggy Sue says:
This book is clearly for very young children. We love it, especially the humor which is just right for children age 1-2. I just bought it for my granddaughter's first birthday.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2013 9:14:42 AM PDT
I'm sure she loves reading it with you. Grandmothers are so very important :)

Books with rhymes are also important. It attunes children's ears to the similarities between words, but I'm sure you're reading nursery rhymes as well.

(When she is older, let me suggest the LeapFrog videos. Absolutely awesome way to teach the ABCs and their sounds. Homeschoolers love these videos and I feel it contributed to the high reading levels of my children.)

Posted on Sep 22, 2015 7:57:33 PM PDT
Teacher says:
This book is perfect for toddlers, but is also perfect for beginning readers. Don't poo-poo it because it doesn't rhyme. This book has a predictable pattern which will help your child learn to read a few years down the line. I give it 5 stars for all the reasons everyone else has written before, but also as it is a highly engaging book for beginning readers with its predictable pattern and good picture clues.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 4, 2015 6:10:36 PM PST
T. Grossi says:
Great comment. How a book is read can make a big difference. I read it to the preschoolers in my class in small groups so everyone gets to lift a flap. One of the favorites in th class.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 5, 2015 4:38:07 PM PST
These are good points. And truly most every book you read to a child is going to be a good thing.

I think the question is whether this book is a good value. It's fine book to get at a library to share. I don't believe now, even a decade later after I first wrote this review, that it's a good value. A book to read, in other words, but not one to buy.

Posted on Dec 6, 2015 1:24:57 AM PST
Joe Lynch says:

You do realize this is for youngsters that even though may have to attend a State College, will find imagination alive at this stage of their young life.
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