Parents' Guide to

Mr. Peek and the Misunderstanding at the Zoo

By Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

A humorous lesson in the power of positive thinking.

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What you will—and won't—find in this book.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
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This unusual, clever story is plenty of fun for kids, but its point may jab at parents a bit. That’s not a bad thing. How often do grown-ups speak disparagingly about themselves, in jest or in dismay? It isn’t good for anyone, especially for little ears who may hear something very different. Kids will recognize Mr. Peek and giggle at the effects of his monologue: the shocked elephant, the dejected monkeys, the sobbing giraffes. But once he realizes he hasn’t outgrown his jacket after all, he bounds happily through the zoo. The animals still misunderstand his cheery self-affirmations -- he still isn’t talking about them, but it doesn’t matter a bit.

Moods are infectious, and this is a wonderful illustration of how one person can brighten -- or ruin -- another’s day. Mr. Peek works himself into a very dark mood, and his paranoia about getting fired might puzzle kids. Mr. Peek doesn’t quite learn his lesson on assuming the worst -- he vows to keep his mind straight next time, and just one page later he’s forgotten his promise. But again, that’s pretty typical of grown-ups.

Playful, clever artwork captures Mr. Peek’s dejection -- and then better spirits. Kids will enjoy spotting Jimmy and the black cat as they trail Mr. Peek through the zoo.

Book Details

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