Picture Book - Dear Zoo - Rod Campbell (Author & Illustrator)
Recommended for: Babies/Toddlers/Younger Readers
I'm sure Dear Zoo needs no introduction, but what children's book blog would be complete without it?
For the three of you in the country who aren't familiar with it, Dear Zoo is all about a child writing to the zoo, asking to be sent a pet. Each pet that is sent isn't quite right (He was too scary/tall/grumpy etc.), so the zoo keeps trying until finally one is found that is just right.
It's so simple, but there are hundreds of ways you can make the story all the more fun. You can make noises for each animal as you go along, sing songs about each animal or have them all included in 'Old MacDonald (had a zoo...)', get children to draw each animal as they go along, give them all names with the same letter etc. The repeated 'So i sent him back!' line that goes with each animal is an easy one for children to do, and everytime we read this at Storytime in the library the children know what to do. I think the 'lift the flap' edition comes as standard, but you can also get editions with noises to play for each animal, with a CD of the story, and my favourite oversized editions, which come in at well over a metre high so all the children can see them easily.
It really isn't a collection of children's books unless you have this included.