Going to the Zoo

Going to the Zoo

5.0 3
by Tom Paxton, Karen L. Schmidt

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Daddy's taking us to the
zoo tomorrow,
zoo tomorrow, zoo tomorrow.
Daddy's taking us to the
zoo tomorrow.
We can stay all day.

Now you can go along too, as Tom Paxton's classic song comes to life in this boisterous picture book. Rhythmic verse leads you through a wild kingdom where animals burst from every page. Monkeys are scritch,

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Daddy's taking us to the
zoo tomorrow,
zoo tomorrow, zoo tomorrow.
Daddy's taking us to the
zoo tomorrow.
We can stay all day.

Now you can go along too, as Tom Paxton's classic song comes to life in this boisterous picture book. Rhythmic verse leads you through a wild kingdom where animals burst from every page. Monkeys are scritch, scritch, scratchin', and kangaroos are hop, hop, hoppin', making every moment an adventure.

Karen Lee Schmidt's lively, irresistible illustrations show the animals up to all sorts of mischief. And with the easily played melodies included, this musical menagerie is every bit as fun as a trip to the zoo. Youngsters will want to stay all day — and come back again and again!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Schmidt's sprightly watercolor and gouache illustrations lend a jaunty air to one of folksinger Paxton's best-known songs. Whimsical foreshadowing on the opening page quickly sets the stage for fun: readers see a family celebrating their coming trip while a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed menagerie peeks over the scene's border. With each turn of the page, the furred and feathered spies get their turn in the limelight ("See all the monkeys scritch, scritch, scratchin' "; "Big black bear is a-huff, huff, a-puffin' "). The toe-tapping text is knit together visually with depictions of the knobby-kneed zookeeper, resplendent in her uniform and cleats, seen tending to her prankish charges on every spread. Awash with sunny charm, the book could inspire an audience to break out in song; happily, the endpapers contain the musical score. Ages 3-up. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
PreSPaxton and Schmidt have transformed the children's song "We're Going to the Zoo" into an appealing picture book that is perfect for story hour as well as for one-on-one sharing. The cadence of the song lends itself well to reading aloud, and music is included. The illustrations, done in watercolor and gouache in bright pastel colors, depict cheerful, friendly animals and people across double-page spreads that are large enough for a group to enjoy. The zoo is a popular destination for family and class trips, and this is a good book to read before or after such an outing. There's not much of a story here, but a good time is had by all.Sue Norris, Rye Free Reading Room, NY
Lauren Peterson
Originally published in 1961, Paxton's well-known children's song has been transformed into a lively picture book with additional lyrics and energetic illustrations. All double-page spreads, the colorful watercolor-and-gouache pictures are exaggerated yet still somewhat realistic as they depict a trio of siblings, accompanied by their dad, visiting a variety of zoo animals. The book offers many possibilities for use during a story time or in a classroom setting, with rhyme and repetition, plenty of action verbs, and onomatopoeia combining to make it a perfect choice for choral reading and dramatic play. Youngsters can even practice listening skills by comparing this new version with the original song to determine which animals have been added. The musical notation is a bonus.

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
9.56(w) x 11.28(h) x 0.34(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Tom Paxton, author of The Story of the Tooth Fairy and The Story of Santa Claus, lives in Alexandria, Virginia.

Tom Paxton has been an integral part of the folk music community since the Greenwich Village scene of the early sixties. His classic songs, including "Ramblin' Boy," "The Last Thing on My Mind," and "Bottle of Wine," have won him the admiration of fans all over the world. He hosted the acclaimed BBC Radio series "Tom Paxton's America" and was chosen as honorary chairman of the board of the World Folk Music Association. He has created six songbooks, thirty-two albums, and countless memorable concerts. Philip Elwood of the San Francisco Examiner noted, "What seemed like the entire audience was singing along. No one told them to, or directed them-they just were.

Paxton's songs, inspired by everything from family love to homelessness and recorded by such diverse stars as Willie Nelson and Placido Domingo, have stirred the emotions of three decades of audiences. Paxton is also finding ways to influence a new generation through such beloved children's songs as "My Dog's Bigger Than Your Dog," "Going to the Zoo," and "The Marvelous Toy." Under his children's label, Pax Records, he has released several acclaimed albums, including Suzy Is a Rocker, winner of the prestigious Parents' Choice Gold Medal. His children's music has led him into a successful new career as a picture-book author. "I love the way books inspire songs and vice versa," he says. "But, most important, I have a real sense of discovery in having found yet another place where I belong."

Scott Alarik of the Boston Globe praised Tom Paxton for "applying the same tools he developed for adult audiences to his children's songs, giving them an intelligence, wit and lack of condescension too rarely heard in today's booming children's music market."

Tom Paxton lives in East Hampton, New York, when he is not on tour. He and his wife, Midge, have raised two daughters, Jennifer and Kate.

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Going to the Zoo 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Sarah_TwinsMom More than 1 year ago
My 4.5 year old twins (boy and a girl) learned this song in camp over the summer. This book has been a HUGE hit! We sing and read - laugh and just enjoy 'going to the zoo' each time we read it. The pictures are fantastic - book is large and beautiful (library quality). What a perfect way to sit and read with my kids and share music at the same time. Love it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I work at a daycare and teach 1-2 year olds. This book is the best way to describe the animals and get them to have lots of movement.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I checked this book out at the library and my 3 yr old loves it! He made me read it quite a few times. It has a great story with rhymes and a beat. He was walking around quoting the book he enjoyed it so much. I got online to see if I could find it so I can buy it for him.