Last Night at the Zoo

( 1 )

Overview

A quiet night at the zoo turns into a wild adventure as the animals put their heads together and come up with a plan for a night on the town. Decked out in disguises from the Lost and Found, this zany bunch manages to take the bus downtown, have dinner at a French restaurant, and top it all off with a night of dancing at the Club Boogie. Told in lively verse with bold and entertaining illustrations, young readers will be captivated by the animals' night on the town.

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Overview

A quiet night at the zoo turns into a wild adventure as the animals put their heads together and come up with a plan for a night on the town. Decked out in disguises from the Lost and Found, this zany bunch manages to take the bus downtown, have dinner at a French restaurant, and top it all off with a night of dancing at the Club Boogie. Told in lively verse with bold and entertaining illustrations, young readers will be captivated by the animals' night on the town.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In light-hearted, rhymed couplets, Garland (The Mouse Before Christmas) introduces a group of animals who escape from the zoo for a festive night on the town. After seals and a walrus dredge up coins from their pool to fund the escapade and a monkey snatches keys from the dozing night watchman, the menagerie raids the zoo's lost-and-found in hopes of finding a way "to blend in with the crowd." Featuring a 3-D quality and hues that range from luminous to neon, Garland's funky computer art reveals these adventurous critters decked out in a range of wildly patterned shirts and sporty hats. Their first stop is a French restaurant, where the scene highlights some slapstick flourishes: the necktie-clad seal balances a martini glass on his snout; a banana peel lands on the alligator's head. The accompanying verse bounces with humor: "Imagine the noise as they devoured their meal,/ All that roaring and howling--and barks from a seal!/ Then the waiter got angry and started to shout./ He flipped his toupee and threw them all out." After boogying at a nightclub and snacking at a diner, the revelers return to the zoo, where murmurs of a subsequent escape plan surface. Readers will hope this animal crew pulls off another clever caper. Ages 5-8. (Jan.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly
"In light-hearted, rhymed couplets, Garland introduces a group of animals who escape from the zoo for a festive night on the town. Readers will hope this animal crew pulls off another clever caper," PW said. Ages 5-up. (Aug.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
"Last night at the zoo there was nothing to do..." So after the animals raid the Lost and Found for clothing, and the seal pool for money, they set out for a night on the town. The rhyming couplets are not great poetry, but convey the fun as the animals dine at a French restaurant, Bugaloo at the Club Boogie, and finish their wild night with ice cream at Joe's Diner. Everything is back to normal before morning, but we have the sense that this is not their last night out. Garland's use of the computer to generate the pictures results in a somewhat disturbing sense of isolation of objects, almost like cut paper. But this style may be appropriate for the actions of this lively group of colorful, realistic, anthropomorphic critters—chimps, seals, a panda, polar bear, giraffe and more. Dressed up in tourist garb, they have a collective ball. The textless double- page scene of dancing at the Club is zesty, weird and antic. 2001, Boyds Mills Press, $15.95. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-K-During a boring night at the zoo, the animals decide to break out and have an adventure. After the seals collect change from the bottom of their pool and the monkeys snatch the keys, the creatures raid the Lost and Found and don colorful hats and shirts. They board a bus and head for town, where they have dinner at a French restaurant and end with a night of dancing at Club Boogie. Garland's palette includes electric reds, blues, and greens that contrast nicely against the dark night. However, the electronically drawn animals appear fuzzy and unclear on some pages, yet their plaid-patterned shirts and printed ties stand out sharply on others. One wordless spread emphasizes the frenzy at the dance club. Although the illustrations are sometimes intriguing, readers will find the rhyming text and predictable plot pedestrian. Stick with Margret and H. A. Rey's "Curious George" books (Houghton) or Peggy Rathmann's Good Night, Gorilla (Putnam, 1994) for real monkey business.-Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
From The Critics
A quiet zoo evening turns into a wild tale as animals plan a night on the town and get decked out in zany disguises to achieve their goals. A rollicking rhyme accompanies pages of detail on their lavish night out and encounters with humans in this highly recommended, different story with its bright color drawings.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590781678
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2003
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 711,592
  • Age range: 5 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.90 (w) x 9.54 (h) x 0.11 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Garland is the illustrator of many books for children, including Leah's Pony by Elizabeth Friedrich. He lives in Patterson, New York.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2001

    AN ANTIC ANIMAL DELIGHT

    Youngsters will smile in wide-eyed pleasure as they discover the shenanigans that went on one night at the zoo when there was nothing to do. 'No Tiger had growled, no lion had roared. The monkeys and zebras were idle and bored.' So to relieve the monotony of their evening those wily and wooly animals decided they needed a night on the town. Not to worry about money as the seals and walrus had cash that people had tossed into their pool. Of course, these critters are smart enough to know that they need to disguise themselves so off they go to the lost and found where they find shirts and hats. Next, they boarded a downtown bus that took them to the center of the city where there were bright lights galore. Dinner was first on their agenda, although their table manners caused a snooty French waiter to flip his toupee. Dancing at Club Boogie worked up their appetites again, so it was off to Joe's Diner for sodas and ice cream. Author-artist Michael Garland has not only penned a lilting rhyming text but created bold, colorful, hilarious illustrations - think a gimme-capped walrus attacking a banana split!

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