FICTION

ZooZical

. 978-0-37586-847-4.
COPY ISBN
K-Gr 2—The midwinter doldrums have settled in at the zoo in this sequel to Wild About Books (Knopf, 2004). Fun times might be gone for the others, but a small hippo and a young kangaroo set the place hip-hopping. Inspired by the pair, zoo inhabitants sing their versions of favorite children's songs ("Oh my darling porcupine," "If you're hoppy and you know it, clap your paws," and "For he's a jolly gorilla," to name a few). They work on posters, costumes, and scenery, and on a cold wintry night people come to see the musical extravaganza. The curtains rise on bears walking the tightrope, baboons dancing in troops, crocodile kids leading an alphabet song, and seals singing about seals on the bus. The grand finale features the young kangaroo leading the Zoo Hokey Pokey. "It was one of those times that you hope never ends,/When penguins and pandas and pythons are friends,/When tigers don't bite, when the doldrums take flight,/On a magical, musical ZooZical night." Brown's bright, energetic animals hop, jump, prance, and dance across generous full-color spreads. Sierra's language-rich couplets with their easy rhythms will have young readers tapping their toes. This joyous sing-along, read-along romp is guaranteed to chase away the doldrums any time of year.—Mary Jean Smith, Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN
The zoo-animal cast from Sierra and Brown's Wild About Books beats the "midwinter doldrums" by putting on a musical. There's not much story after they decide to perform, but the rhymes are quite expert ("awoke, he" begets "karaoke" and "Hokey Pokey"), and as he's proved before, Brown can imbue even the homeliest of animals with remarkable humanity.

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