Wild About Books
  • Wild About Books
  • Wild About Books

Wild About Books

4.4 14
by Judy Sierra, Marc Brown

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A librarian named Mavis McGrew introduces the animals in the zoo to the joy of reading when she drives her bookmobile to the zoo by mistake. See more details below

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A librarian named Mavis McGrew introduces the animals in the zoo to the joy of reading when she drives her bookmobile to the zoo by mistake.

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.

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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

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