The Lending Zoo

illus. by Frank Asch. 32p. ebook available. S. & S./Aladdin. Apr. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781442466784.
PreS-K—Instead of a book, check out an animal. Miss Perkins, the Zoobrarian, will help you find the right one. The available creatures are not necessarily small or domesticated. Among the choices are an elephant and a bear. The concept of borrowing wild animals is intriguing, but the story itself is rather tame. Pancake the tiger is missing. Miss Perkins and Molly, a young would-be patron, follow a trail of wet footprints that leads them all over town. The mystery of the animal's disappearance is solved when Pancake simply returns to the Lending Zoo; apparently he wanted nothing more than some fresh air and exercise. Flat, opaque pastel-colored illustrations are appealing and suit the cheerful fantasy setting.
VERDICT Older children may want more action, but preschoolers will enjoy a visit to this unusual zoo.

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