Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

zoo's who

zoo's who

Douglas Florian
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 5 to 8
HMH Books for Young Readers, 2005   ISBN: 0152046399

Children love drawing animals, learning about them, and pretending to be creatures of all kinds Many of their favorite book characters are animals, and it is hard to imagine what the world would be like if Maisy the mouse, Babar the elephant, and Paddington the bear were not with us.

   In this picture book artist and poet, Douglas Florian, introduces us to twenty-one kinds of animals. We get to attend a zoological meet-and-greet that is highly entertaining and amusing.

   We begin with The Lizards, the creatures who like to “bask” and whose favorite food sounds so unsavory that one is better off not asking any questions about it. The next animal we meet is an altogether different kind of creature. It is the eagle, and it has a very high opinion of itself. It seems to think that it is “royal” and “regal” and that its existence proves that “All birds are not / Created eagle.”

   The penguin, which is also a bird, is a lot less bothered about keeping up appearances. This funny looking animal happily slides down snowy hills on its belly, and when it is really cold it is not too proud to “huddle with its friends.”

   Children are going to laugh out loud as they read these poems. They will come across many animals that they already know about, and they will also meet some animals that are new to them.