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Z Is for Zookeeper: A Zoo Alphabet (Science Alphabet) Hardcover – April 30, 2005
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From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 4–Yet another addition to the spectrum of alphabet books available for young readers. This book, like the others in the series, offers quick-read rhymes based around the theme for each letter of the alphabet. For example, Q is for Quarantine./When animals are new,/here they are kept/before entering the zoo. More detailed information and interesting facts appear in the margins for advanced readers or keener zoo enthusiasts. Colored-pencil-and-watercolor artwork dominates each spread, but the text is not dwarfed by it. Readers will find the simple pictures as interesting as the text. In addition to the many animal species, they will find ample human representation and descriptions of the important work that these individuals do in caring for their charges.–Corrina Austin, Locke's Public School, St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada
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About the Author
Marie and Roland Smith have collaborated on several alphabet titles, including B is for Beaver: An Oregon Alphabet and Z is for Zookeeper: A Zoo Alphabet. They live on a small farm south of Portland. The author of many books for children, Roland has also penned Sleeping Bear Press's middle-grade series, I, Q.
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While the rhymes could be a little better they aren't too bad. The writing is good enough that it keeps both a child's and an adult's attention, which can really be hit and miss in children's books. It's an interesting behind the scenes look at a zoo and the work zookeepers do to care for the animals. I like how adaptable it is too for different age levels. My preschooler at this point simply enjoys the main rhyming text. There's also a sidebar with much more information in a smaller font. I'm sure we'll be adding in reading the sidebar in a couple years. The illustrations are rather pretty as well. Overall, I'm glad I own this book.
That being said, it's also geared perfectly to kids' interests without losing a spark for adults. The animal keepers I know gathered around this book with delight when it was given at a baby shower. And believe me, we are TOUGH critics on animal books.