A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this book combines the curious affinity that children feel with animals and every young child's wish to be "big" and know how to do "big kid" things such as learning to read.
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What's the story?
Molly McGrew, the librarian, normally drives a bookmobile, but things get interesting when she accidentally turns into the local zoo. With the clarity of purpose well-known among librarians, once there she simply does what she knows best: she promotes reading.
From llamas reading dramas and hyenas enjoying joke books to a boa constrictor who loves Crictor, Molly soon has the entire population of the zoo reading. She opens a branch library at the zoo called the Zoobrary.
Is it any good?
With illustrations by the creator of the popular Arthur books, this cheerful rhyming story celebrates several things simultaneously: animals, books and reading, story writing, and libraries. Young kids will not be surprised to find animals reading books and writing their own stories because the line between themselves and the sweet, smiling animals in the story is a thin one.
The author uses many well-known stories to highlight the animals' enjoyment. From The Cat in the Hat and Goodnight Moon, to The Wizard of Oz and Harry Potter, the animals appreciate the same books loved by kids. There is some humor in the story that's strictly for the adult readers. For example, there's a scorpion book reviewer who gives "a stinging review" to whatever it reads and a Zoolitzer Prize awarded to a hippo's memoir.