Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because this is a great book that makes learning to count fun!
By Lori Degman
Illustrated by Colin Jack
32 pages – ages 3+
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on July 20, 2010
Theme/Topic – Animals/Counting
Opening and Synopsis – “While YOU stood here waiting, with nothing to do,
I snuck through the gate and into the zoo.
You’ll never believe what I saw – what I heard. I swear it’s the truth – every last word.”
A little boy waiting in line for the zoo to open, sneaks into the zoo through a hidden gate. What he see is that the zoo isn’t quite ready to open yet. The fox has escaped, the zebras are swimming with the walruses and the beavers are cooking chilli! All the animals are going ZANY while the zookeeper tries to get them to behave.
Why I liked this book – What kid wouldn’t want to get into the zoo before it opens and see what is going on?!? This is a hilarious book! The rhyme is perfect and it is very fun to read out loud. The illustrations are great! They are as funny as the story and go with it well.
Along with the great story and illustrations, kids will learn how to count to ten. I think that the animals and their wacky behavior will help kids remember their numbers!
Activities and Resources –
I found a cool game on Scribd.com. This LINK takes you to a printable sheet that has different animal patterns (zebra, tiger, giraffe and cheetah) and then you have your kids match the pattern to the animal.
I also found a Zoo animal counting sheet at the same website. You have to count the animals on the sheet and circle the right answer. The sheet can be downloaded HERE.
The best activity I can think of is to take your kids to the zoo and count the animals yourselves! You can get a notebook and pencils and have your child record the animals he/she sees, how many and maybe draw a picture of them. EVEN BETTER – I know the Philadelphia Zoo has sleep over events where you actually get to sleep in the zoo! You also get to see some of the behind the scenes things that go on in the zoo. You can read about the Philadelphia Zoo’s program HERE, or you can check to see if your local zoo has a similar program…OK OK you won’t be sleeping out in Philly at this time of year, but maybe you live where it is warm and you can go to your zoo or you can remember about it for when the weather is nice again. 🙂
To learn more about Ms. Degman, please visit her website by clicking HERE.
**Note – I won a copy of this book for Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 Challenge and decided to review it 🙂
To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE