A Night At the Zoo

illus. by Kathy Caple. 24p. (I Like to Read). ebook available. Holiday House. 2014. RTE $14.95. ISBN 9780823430444. LC 2013018853.
PreS-Gr 1—In this thoroughly modern visit to the zoo, Sam and Pop use a cell phone to snap pictures and chat with Mom. When the exhausted duo nap, they end up sleeping right through the zoo's closing. Unbeknownst to them, the animals cavort and play in the moonlight and discover the cell phone! It passes from an ostrich to a parrot and then goes from animal to animal in a whirl of chaotic, onomatopoeic action. The clamor and arrival of the night security guard wakes Sam and Pop and scatters the animals. The phoneless pair are surprised when the parrot flies over and drops the cell into their hands—and they are even more amazed to see all the animal selfies it holds. While the full-color pen, ink, and acrylic cartoons break no new ground, the presence of the cell phone, a constant part of many kids' experiences, will delight children. The text is easy enough for emerging readers to tackle on their own, and the sound effects that the bold type invites will have even the youngest child joining in to ring, bop, snap, and yip.—Marge Loch-Wouters, La Crosse Public Library, WI
When Sam and Pop fall asleep at the zoo, the animals get hold of Pop's cell phone, and chaos ensues. Caple's pen-and-ink and acrylic illustrations directly reflect each action described in the simple easy-reader text. Plot is scarce, but variation in the visibility of brushstrokes and the playfully hyperbolic expressions of surprise on human and animal characters' faces enliven the pages.

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