Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Zany Zoo

Zany Zoo

William Wise
Illustrator:   Lynn Munsinger 
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 5 to 8
Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2006   ISBN: 0618188916

Many of us who love animals imagine that we know a great deal about our furry, feathery, and scaly friends. We think we know all the tricks our pets can play, all the interesting things that they can do. However, there are some animals out there that are rather usual.

Allow me to introduce you to Daisy. Daisy is a dog who does not like to eat meat. Instead, she likes to munch on watermelon, crunchy and sweet. Then there is Lulu, a skunk who does not smell “awful” the way most skunks do. Instead, Lulu smells like Chanel 5. Mocked by her peers, Lulu goes to live in Paris, where she soon finds “wealth and fortune.” Then there is Hope the hyena who is a “fine ballerina.” Unfortunately, Hope’s Sugar Plum Fairy debut does not work out very well because her appearance scares the children in the audience. What is a hyena supposed to do if she wants to trip the light fantastic?

This delightful collection of poems will have children (and the adults in their lives) laughing out loud. William Wise’s deliciously funny poems are clever, and many contain at least one amusing and skillful play on words. Lynn Munsinger’s expressive animal characters perfectly compliment the unique poems in this book.