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Wild About Books
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Wild About Books

4.5 15
by Judy Sierra, Marc Brown (Illustrator)

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It started the summer of 2002, when the Springfield librarian, Molly McGrew, by mistake drove her bookmobile into the zoo.

In this rollicking rhymed story, Molly introduces birds and beasts to this new something called reading. She finds the perfect book for every animal—tall books for giraffes, tiny ones for crickets. “She even found waterproof


It started the summer of 2002, when the Springfield librarian, Molly McGrew, by mistake drove her bookmobile into the zoo.

In this rollicking rhymed story, Molly introduces birds and beasts to this new something called reading. She finds the perfect book for every animal—tall books for giraffes, tiny ones for crickets. “She even found waterproof books for the otter, who never went swimming without Harry Potter.” In no time at all, Molly has them “forsaking their niches, their nests, and their nooks,” going “wild, simply wild, about wonderful books.” Judy Sierra’s funny animal tale coupled with Marc Brown’s lush, fanciful paintings will have the same effect on young Homo sapiens. Altogether, it’s more fun than a barrel of monkeys!

Editorial Reviews

Only the humor is a clue that these lush, folk-art-style paintings are the work of Brown, creator of the book and TV character Arthur. Sierra's text amplifies the visual shenanigans with the frisky tale of a literacy craze that ensues when a bookmobile rolls into a zoo: "Raccoons read alone and baboons read in bunches./And llamas read dramas while eating their llunches." (Ages 4 to 6)
Child magazine's Best Children's Book Awards 2004
Publishers Weekly
Sierra (Silly and Sillier) and Brown dedicate this spirited volume to Theodor Seuss Geisel, to whom they give several affectionate nods (including a meter akin to And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street). After the Springfield (Dr. Seuss's hometown) librarian one day drives her bookmobile into the zoo, she settles into a chair with a book: "By reading aloud from the good Dr. Seuss,/ She quickly attracted a mink and a moose,/ A wombat, an oryx, a lemur, a lynx,/ Eight elephant calves, and a family of skinks." As the zoo's residents eagerly descend on the bookmobile, their species-appropriate selections will elicit chuckles from kids: a monkey grabs for a banana cookbook, two crocodiles open Peter Pan to the page featuring the croc that swallows a clock, giraffes pore over "tall books" (devoted to basketball, redwood trees, skyscrapers) and hyenas read joke books. Sierra's cleverly rhymed verse includes many playful embellishments, such as "Raccoons read alone and baboons read in bunches./ And llamas read dramas while eating their llunches." The critters then become wild about writing as well and pen so many new books that the librarian enlists their help to build a library branch at the zoo. Packed with funny flourishes, Brown's atwork reflects a loose, free style; his bustling paintings capture this endearing menagerie's antics. A winning paean to reading and writing. Ages 4-8. (Aug.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Judy Sierra, a master of rhyming story books for young children, teams up with beloved, colorful illustrator Marc Brown and dedicates Wild About to Dr. Seuss. The story starts when Bookmobile Librarian Molly McGrew drives her bus into the zoo, and "By reading aloud from the good Dr. Seuss,/ She quickly attracted a mink and a moose." A zany set-up? It's just so wacky it works! For animals of all species begin stampeding "to learn all about this new something called reading." This book is a clear reflection of Sierra's passion and knowledge about rhyming, books, reading, young children and humor! The perfectly scanned lines and bright illustrations are filled with book references that will delight young readers as well as a rollicking playfulness loaded with subtleties for all age levels. A younger child will appreciate references to The Cat in the Hat, while older readers will note the hidden humor in the misspelled line: "llamas read dramas while eating their llunches." In addition to the perfection of read aloud quality, the author honors and unites animal behaviors and characteristics with the kind treatment of books. Sierra takes an implausible situation and turns it into a possible reality, a story with sense about what books might inspire if they were put in animals' hands, er, paws and trunks. It's no surprise that this won the 2005 E.B. White Read Aloud award. 2004, Knopf, Ages 3 to 8.
—Susie Wilde
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-In a rhyming text that is both homage to and reminiscent of Dr. Seuss's epic rhyming sagas, Sierra spins the tale of librarian Molly McGrew who mistakenly drives the bookmobile to the zoo. The various denizens are attracted to her read-alouds and soon are reading, writing, rhyming, and going wild about those wonderful books. With Molly's encouragement, the animals start their own Zoobrary so they can read to their hearts' content. Sierra's text has a wacky verve and enough clever asides and allusions to familiar characters to satisfy bibliophiles of all ages. The author's sense of playfulness in plot and language ("llamas read while eating their llunches"; a hippo wins the "Zoolitzer Prize") creates a lavish literary stew. Comic moments abound, including bugs writing haiku and unruly bears licking illustrations right off the page (until Molly gently teaches them how to treat books properly). Brown's cheerful, full-color illustrations stretch his trademark art with ever-so-slightly stylized spreads that are rich in pattern, texture, and nuance. On each spread, he plays with perspective and layout to create an electric sense of excitement as the animals discover what kids have known for a long time-reading is fun!-Marge Loch-Wouters, Menasha's Public Library, WI Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
12.54(w) x 11.04(h) x 0.42(d)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Judy Sierra is the author of many critically acclaimed children’s books, including the bestselling collection of funny poems, Antarctic Antics; Silly & Sillier; and Tasty Baby Belly Buttons. She lives in Castro Valley, CA.

Marc Brown is best known as the creator of Arthur the aardvark, but you will find no aardvarks or animals wearing glasses in this book. Drawing upon his classical training at the Cleveland Institute of Art, Marc Brown’s colorful paintings for Wild About Books reflect the naïve spirit of folk art at its best. “Judy Sierra’s story gave me the opportunity to indulge myself in painting,” said Mr. Brown, adding that this is the book of which he is most proud. He lives in Hingham and Martha’s Vineyard, MA.

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Wild about Books 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
This one is a keeper. I love everything about this book and you will too, if you love books and zoo animals. I was subbing some afternoon and the librarian read this to my third graders before check-out time and to be honest, I think I enjoyed it more than they did. I couldn’t wait till he finished so I could write the name of this book down so I get my hands on it as I didn’t think he gave the book the justice it deserved. The book was dying as he read in a monotone voice, he didn’t point out all the great illustrations nor did he highlight some of the great references in the text, he killed it. I knew with the right person reading this book, this book could be a gem! Let me tell you the illustrations are terrific, the pages are glossy and just opening this book, there are so many details within each page, you will want to just look at the pages before or after reading the text to make sure you get the full effect. The text is amazing. The story centers on Molly the librarian who pulls her bookmobile into the zoo by mistake. As she starts to read Dr. Seuss, the animals in the zoo surround her and start to read the books she has. Each animal has a favorite book or genre so whether they are hanging from trees, lying in the water, reading to their babies and many other situations, they are reading. The author is very creative in attaching the books to the animals. So what happens to the zoo as the animals read, the zoo changes. Written in black, this text rhymes and yes, some of the words are hard to pronounce and understand so if you read this book to younger children, please explain some of the words. Words like niches, devoured, haiku, and resistance might need to be explained. The book is funny but younger children might not totally understand all the concepts unless you explain them to them. For example: the hyenas liked joke books, “the boa constrictor squeezed Crictor too tight”, and porcupines wrote with their quills. I’m so excited to find this gem and know it will be one I will be sharing in the classroom. This would make a great gift too!
Storywraps More than 1 year ago
A librarian mistakenly drives her bookmobile into a zoo causing a stampede amongst the animals to get to the visiting library and find out what reading is all about.  Like a true dedicated bookworm, Molly McGrew, with  steadfast confidence and on a mission to satisfy the animal's curiosity, succeeds in turning them into avid readers and even writers.  This fantastic rhyming book takes the reader on a jolly romp with the animals and just might be an inspiration for your child's reading skills to escalate.  Cleverly the author uses playful language: "llamas read while eating their lunches", and "a hippo wins the 'Zoolitzer Prize', just to focus on a few.  She hands out tall books, small books, fat books and thin books and even waterproof books to the otters. You discover the crocodiles reading about Peter Pan, the elephants reading Dumbo and the giraffes reading about basketball.  Everyone has a book that interests him and the librarian even goes so far as to teach the animals proper respect and book etiquette towards their valued books. The illustrations are  charming and the animals (even the more ferocious ones) are adorable.  Marc Brown has done a fantastic job in capturing just the right colour pallet and energy to move the text to the next level.  The book is a fun, fun read and I highly recommend it.  Kids, parents and especially librarians will be thrilled with this book and the positive message it brings about the joy of reading and writing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
HappyreaderSB More than 1 year ago
Author Judy Sierra's playful, rhythmical, rhyming story of animals and books, combined with Marc Brown's cheerful, fanciful, lushly colored pictures, makes for a delightful book so enjoyable that it's hard to find words to describe it. The text is worthy of Dr. Seuss, and it's appropriate that the book is dedicated to the good doctor. I was immediately drawn to the book by its cover art, then found that what's inside is even better! WILD ABOUT BOOKS is fun, and funny, a read-aloud treat and a feast for the eyes, a celebration of animals and books, reading and writing. And this is one picture book that parents are sure to enjoy at least as much as their children do. Everyone will be wild about this delightful, beautiful book! Sheila Beaumont
TwinMommy More than 1 year ago
We LOVE this book in my house. Very sing-songy prose which makes it easy and fun to read. Sweet plot line and introduces lots of more obscure zoo animals (gnu for instance). If you like Dr. Seuss, you'll love this one. Great illustrations too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great kids book, good rhyming, fun story and lots of animals. Fun for adults too.
nycmamaEH More than 1 year ago
this is a really wonderful book. well-written and humorous, with beautiful illustrations. my 2 1/2 year old is obsessed with it, and even we love reading it over and over with him
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JillyPec More than 1 year ago
Judy Sierra's clever story about a librarian who accidentally drives her book mobile into the local zoo immediately captures the imagination of the young reader. Molly introduces the various animals to not only reading and caring for books but also to writing - linking the essential concept that good readers make good writers. Even the "reluctant" animal readers find something of interest. The book is wonderfully illustrated in rich, vibrant colors and it's rhythmic patterns are best read aloud. This is one of my children's favorite bed-time reads. It is a great choice for early elementary-aged children.
The_Queen_of_all_PARPdom More than 1 year ago
I read this book to my son's elementary school (K-3) during out Parents As Reading Partners Program. The children loved it and especially loved seeing the illustrations of and hearing about books mentioned that they're already familiar with. It's a terrific read-a-loud book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful book. My son is 11 months old and he loves to look at the pictures and even listens to the rhythmic words. This book is so clever and cute, it entertains our whole family over and over again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A motivating book for encouraging children to get into books and read. Plenty of adult humor and play on words to keep all ages interested at multiple levels of enjoyment. Be sure to have plenty of great books on hand for kids to go wild over after reading this one aloud.
Guest More than 1 year ago
From the first time we checked this book out from the library at age 13 months my son has loved this book. He would sit through the whole book from beginning to end. Now he likes to point at the animals. He calls the Llamas 'mamas' and knows which animals are the giraffes, zebras, bunnies etc. The plot is enjoyable for adults too. I actually have to hide this book because otherwise he won't let me do anything else. It's that good!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Kindergarten teachers are always on the lookout for great read-aloud books and this is surely one. When the librarian accidentally drives the bookmobile into the zoo the animals are introduced to books and reading for the first time. And they love it! The text rolls right along in a fun-to-read lilt and the illustrations tell a story of their own. Look for familiar children's books among the animals' choices. The boa reads 'Chrictor,' the crocodiles read 'Peter Pan.' It's been great fun reading to adults, can't wait to read it to my class.