Meet the Crew at the Zoo

Holiday House. (Mysteries on Zoo Lane: Bk. 1). Oct. 2020. 128p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780823446667; pap. $7.99. ISBN 9780823448500.
Gr 1-3–The first installment in a new series follows Luke, his younger sister Benita, and his parents as they move from Florida to Zoo Lane in New York for his father’s new job as the zoo doctor. Luke is nervous enough just moving to a new place, but is even more upset that his beloved abuelo remains in Florida. The day after their move, Luke hurries along to help his father with the animals and finds an abandoned box filled with mysterious items. Determined to find its owner, Luke meets several other friendly residents of Zoo Lane, but no one claims the box. The story’s heartwarming, satisfying conclusion sets up further adventures in the series. Short chapters, interesting facts about the zoo animals and wildlife, and illustrations throughout help accelerate the plot. Back matter includes additional information about several animals introduced in the story as well as ways to help wildlife. Luke and his family are depicted with light skin and straight black hair, with a diverse supporting cast.
VERDICT A beginning chapter book sure to appeal to emerging readers and animal-lovers alike—a sweet, informative addition to most collections.

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