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Never, Ever Shout in a Zoo Hardcover – April 14, 2004

4.4 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 1-In this engaging read-aloud, a little girl stumbles, drops her ice-cream cone, and gives a frustrated cry, despite the narrator's warning to "Never, EVER shout in a zoo-/because if you do-/anything might happen." Before long, the hapless heroine is being pursued by a scary bear, a moose on the loose, escaped apes, and an ever-growing menagerie of other animals. Released from tanks and cages, the creatures exact their revenge and gleefully surround the child, locking her (and some other humans) in a pen. The last page shows the girl, who is now standing next to an exhibit of a frozen dinosaur, stifling another shout. Observers are drawn into events on the first page, where the watercolor-and-pencil illustrations simply but effectively introduce the locale and then quickly propel the action forward. Presented against broad white backgrounds, the expressive animals project a benign ferocity tempered by baffled amusement. The bouncy text makes use of alliteration, repetition, and rhyming phrases as the narrator speaks directly to the bumptious child ("Uh-oh! Don't say I didn't warn you"). This lighthearted romp disguises a slightly scary concept, as captive creatures successfully break their bonds in an otherwise familiar and "safe" setting, but the mischievous tone and predictable developments mitigate the fear factor. Pair this with Shirley Neitzel's Our Class Took a Trip to the Zoo (Greenwillow, 2002) for a silly armchair adventure.
Carol Ann Wilson, Westfield Memorial Library, NJ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From the Publisher

In this uproarious cause-and-effect story, one innocent little shout from a young girl creates chaos among the zoo animals. Lively, detailed illustrations bring the friendly stampede of animals to life and will have readers laughing out loud!
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 430 (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (April 14, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316985643
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316985642
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.4 x 11.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #340,496 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book captures the imagination of a child... I can't tell you how many conversations I have had with my own children that remind me of the narrator in this book. The author applies descriptive wording to paint a vivid image of what might happen. The words like "mischievous, dreadful, grouchy, etc" enlighten a child's vocabulary. Of course I don't want my children acting "malicious" but I do want them to know what it means when they hear or read it. It is a great way to introduce new words and talk about positive behavior. My 6 year old son loves the pictures and re-examines them each time we read this. There is a wonderful energy about this book. I can imagine reading this book to a classroom of kindergarteners with wide eyes. It is perfect for that setting! Love it!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I feel like I'm writing two reviews here because my views on the illustrations and the text are so different!

The illustrations are painfully odd in some ways. They're pretty, yes, and they feel alive in a way, and you can really see the animals moving and all that - great. But the zoo itself alternates wildly between an extremely old-fashioned zoo of steel bars and barren cages (grr!) and one with basically no enclosures whatsoever such that the animals could hop out of their slightly raised platform and onto the paths at any old time! Either one of those zoo models would be strange to me, but both in one zoo seems... odd. (Why do the apes even NEED to get the keys when none of the animals are "locked" anywhere, anyway?)

As for the text, it's funny and bouncy, and has a few opportunities to build your kid's vocabulary. Yes, I'm talking about the words "malicious" and "conniving". I don't know about YOU, but I would describe a plan by apes to free the animals and lock up the people as, yes, malicious. And I would say sneaking around to do it is conniving. I'm not... I'm not really sure when it became a crime to call a spade a spade unless the spade was light and fluffy.

As far as warning the kids... well! If all these bad things might happen because you shout in a zoo, I'd like to be warned too! And if I shouted anyway, I wouldn't be surprised to get a few friendly "I told you so's" when all was said and done.

But don't ask me, ask my nieces (in pre-k and the first grade). Did they feel upset at the language in this book? Did it scare them? Was it, in fact, horrific?

No. Actually, they laughed and asked me to read it again. I get that not all children are the same, but this is a pretty light-hearted book. Some people need to get a grip.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is my son's (18 months) FAVORITE book and has been for some time. And we read A LOT of books!! He constantly brings it to me to read and as soon as he hears the first sentence, his whole face lights up. My daughter (age 3 going on 16) loves it as well and she is VERY curious to know what all the big words mean? (which I for one like!) They both love the repetition and beautiful artwork. They especially love the phrase "Don't say I didn't warn you," which is repeated quite often. This is a home run for Karma Wilson! Her best yet in my opinion!!
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Format: Paperback
This book is currently one of my four year olds favorites and is frequently requested at bed time. I like to read it, I like the writing style and I like the repetitiveness of it. I like to be animated and really enunciate the bigger words, my son always smiles and looks at me waiting for me to go on.
The illustrations are cute and fun to look at. I don't think the bigger words are too much, if anything it can open a dialog with your child as to what the words mean and perhaps widen their vocabulary in the process. Kids are much smarter than I think we often give them credit for, even if they have never heard the word before, in the context of the story they might just get it without explanation.
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Format: Hardcover
Doug Cushman illustrates Never, Ever Shout In A Zoo, a funny picturebook story by Karma Wilson of one little girl's shout in a zoo, and the snowball effect it has upon zoo residents. Chaos evolves as frightened animals discover their freedom and the shouter finds herself running from a myriad of hilarious residents.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a fun and great book to share with any child who enjoys going to the zoo. Another parent told me about the book after my 3 year old daughter dropped her ice cream at the zoo and began to cry. We read the story and it has helped when we have been out in public settings to share what happens when we yell and how it affects other people around us. The pictures are great and my 2 year old is also a fan of the book. A great addition to any library for young children.
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