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Mr. Peek and the Misunderstanding at the Zoo
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Mr. Peek and the Misunderstanding at the Zoo

5.0 1
by Kevin Waldron
 

Poor old Mr. Peek the zookeeper has a bad start to his day. Will he notice what has gone wrong, or will he spread confusion throughout the zoo?

When Mr. Peek puts on his son’s jacket by mistake, he starts to air all his insecurities as he goes on his daily rounds at the zoo. But unbeknownst to Mr. Peek, all the animals think he is talking about them!

Overview

Poor old Mr. Peek the zookeeper has a bad start to his day. Will he notice what has gone wrong, or will he spread confusion throughout the zoo?

When Mr. Peek puts on his son’s jacket by mistake, he starts to air all his insecurities as he goes on his daily rounds at the zoo. But unbeknownst to Mr. Peek, all the animals think he is talking about them! How will the unfortunate misunderstanding be cleared up? This debut picture book from a stunning new talent—winner of a Bologna Ragazzi Award—combines hilarious, distinctive illustrations with a fantastic story about how easily insecurities can spread.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Waldron’s debut, published in the U.K. in 2008, Mr. Peek the zookeeper finds his uniform jacket much too tight one morning, and his disgruntlement almost spoils everyone’s day. “You’re getting very fat,” he tells himself, and a nearby hippo looks aghast, thinking he’s talking about her. The elephants hear him grumble, “Look how wrinkly you are,” and the giraffes get paranoid at his muttering, “None of the animals even like you.” When Mr. Peek discovers he has mistaken his son’s green jacket for his own (which fits just fine), his mood lifts. He strolls through the zoo a second time, speaking in brisk affirmatives and the animals sigh with relief. Waldron, whose digital caricatures and landscapes suggest fastidiously colored-in pencil doodles, pictures Mr. Peek as a lanky, mustachioed John Cleese type. Mr. Peek plods at first, then silly-walks with glee. Although he is clownish, both his bad and good attitudes are contagious. While Waldron’s comical story may have kids repeating Mr. Peek’s favorite expression of dismay—“Oh, poop!”—it also serves as an excellent reminder to practice optimism in words and deeds. All ages. (May)
From the Publisher
"Mr. Peek is a winner. . . .Witty, dramatic and clever, it’s a good way of conveying the way that children too can misunderstand what adults say." — Times, The (UK)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Poor Mr. Peek thinks he has suddenly gained a tremendous amount of weight when he puts on his zookeeper jacket and a button pops off. As he makes his morning rounds, he complains to himself about how fat and wrinkled he is. "Oh, woe is me! You're getting very fat," he despairs aloud. "None of the animals even like you!" he mutters as he passes the giraffes. He is so sorry for himself that he does not notice that the zoo animals are worried because they think he is talking to them. Luckily, he returns home to discover that he had inadvertently switched jackets with his son. Feeling better now that his clothes fit, Mr. Peek makes his rounds again, this time reassuring himself (and the relieved animals) that everything is fine. Waldron's digital-media illustrations humorously convey the alarmed expressions of the animals while the quirky font and creative text placement reinforce Mr. Peek's stream-of-consciousness muttering as he wanders through the zoo. Pair this with Peggy Rathman's Good Night, Gorilla (Putnam, 2002) for a fun storytime about clueless zookeepers.—Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT
Kirkus Reviews
One morning, Mr. Peek, the mustachioed zookeeper, dons his son's small jacket by mistake, pops a button and spends the next hours feeling fat, old and paranoid. As he makes his rounds, denigrating his fat old self, the zoo animals think he's talking to them . . . to highly distressing effect. "All that terrible food you eat will be the end of you!" Mr. Peek proclaims too near the recently fed penguins. "Look how wrinkly you are," he says within elephants' earshot. The 17-page foray into adult neurosis reverses when he figures out the jacket mix-up and repeats his rounds, now uttering self-confident proclamations such as, "You look fine just the way you are." However, since the resulting reassurance of the animals is just as accidental as the initial wounding, the story ends up feeling flip and flimsy. The digitally crafted illustrations-a delightful cross between Calef Brown and J. otto Seibold-are packed with quirky, comical details and a fun-to-spot cat. A jaunty but disconcertingly adult read-aloud that could generate, along with a few giggles, a discussion of misunderstandings. (Picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780763645496
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Publication date:
05/11/2010
Pages:
48
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 10.50(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Kevin Waldron loves to draw animal characters, so when his sketchbook became a paper zoo, he created Mr. Peek to take care of them all. He lives in London.

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Mr. Peek and the Misunderstanding at the Zoo 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Sue_Corbett More than 1 year ago
Observant kids will note there are two green jackets hanging from the pegs in Mr. Peek's front hall as he's getting ready to go to his job at the zoo. The one he puts on is waytootight, fouling his mood and sending Mr. Peek into spasms of self-recrimination beginning with his out-loud declarations about weight gain - "You're getting very fat," he tells himself, a remark meant for his ears only that, unfortunately, the hippo believes is directed at her. And so it goes, as Mr. Peek inadvertently insults the penguins, the bear, the elephant, as he berates himself while making the morning rounds. Ah, but then his son shows up in a w a y t o o b i g green jacket and Mr. Peek's good humor is restored. He reverses course, this time brimming with only positive things to say. The animals' worries dissolve, too. There are a couple of on-point messages here for the kindergarten set - be careful what you say out loud, don't believe everything you hear, (not everything is about you), a good mood is contagious (as is a foul one). But most of all there are hilarious illustrations with clever touches everywhere, sure to spread smiles and elicit giggles.