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Dear Zoo: A Lift-the-Flap Book Board book – May 8, 2007

4.8 out of 5 stars 1,832 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rod Campbell makes books for babies and toddlers, the best known being Dear Zoo, which has sold over two million copies worldwide. All his books have simple text, often with repeating phrases, ideal for the pre-reader. He uses flaps and touch-and-feel elements when appropriate.

Rod Campbell makes books for babies and toddlers, the best known being Dear Zoo, which has sold over two million copies worldwide. All his books have simple text, often with repeating phrases, ideal for the pre-reader. He uses flaps and touch-and-feel elements when appropriate.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 1 - 4 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Board book: 18 pages
  • Publisher: Little Simon; 17256th edition (May 8, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 141694737X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416947370
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 6.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,832 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on January 3, 2000
Format: Board book
My daughter has loved this book from the very beginning. She was fascinated by the animals revealed when I lifted the flaps, and then had a great time learning how to lift the flaps herself as she grew older. She's a year old now and brings it to me to read to her more than any other book that we have. She gets a kick out of the animal sounds we make when we lift the flaps, too. It's the only lift-the-flap book we have that she hasn't managed to tear off any flaps. I think this book has been instrumental in showing her how much fun books can be - I highly recommend it.
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By Jen on June 12, 2015
Format: Board book Verified Purchase
I love this book! It's so creatively written and even makes me giggle. The critters behind the flaps make it even more exciting for my nephew.
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Format: Board book
This is a great early book. The zoo sends various animals as a pet but they are all unsuitable for some reason (the giraffe is too tall, the monkey is too naughty etc). Finally they send the perfect present: a puppy! The language is simple (in fact, this book was recommended to me by a speech pathologist) and the humor is perfect for the 2-4 age group. My son loves lifting up the flaps and making noises for all the different animals hidden below. The flaps are also cleverly illustrated so that enough of the animal is visible to allow the child to guess which one is being sent. I must have read it to my son more than 100 times but neither of us are tired of it yet!
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Format: Board book
Every page of this horrible little book features an animal that the narrator "sent back" to the zoo because it wasn't quite right: too tall, too grumpy, too naughty, etc. No child, but especially no adopted/foster child needs to hear the message, repeated ad nauseum, that anyone is getting "sent back." It might be a classic but it should stay in the past. Fortunately I auditioned this one before my daughter could really understand. I tore it up and recycled it. You should too.
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Format: Board book
My son loves "peek a boo" books. I bought this one for him, but I hate the story line. It's all about animals being too much of something and getting sent back. The giraffe is too tall, the monkey is too naughty.
I don't like how negative the story is. It's possible I'm being too sensitive. I don't want to read books to my son (who happens to have special needs) about being rejected for being too much of something--I really think that's sending the wrong message.
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Format: 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.

Pros

-- 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.

Cons

-- 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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Format: Board book Verified Purchase
I have three daughters 18 month ,3 and 5 years old. My 18 month old can't get enough of this cute book. She is so excited every time she open one of the flaps. This book is simple enough for my 5 yr old to read it and my 3year old makes great sound effects for each flap. I recommend for 3 month the about age 6.
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Format: Board book Verified Purchase
I bought this book for a toddler that was adopted. As I was looking at it, the whole premise was if the animal is too big, too heavy, etc just give it back. The idea of giving back if something isn't just right...including an animal who is naughty did not feel right. And it also sends a message that if something is not perfect, give it back, an animal, etc. I think this book, which is 30 years old, should stay in the past, we are much too enlightened now. I won't return it, it's only $3. and change....I'll give it away, and not to the toddler I intended it for.
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