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Zany Zoo
     

Zany Zoo

by William Wise
 

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Welcome to the Zany Zoo! An unusual bunch in here, it’s true, but if fun and silliness are what you seek, turn the pages, take a peek . . .

Author William Wise and illustrator Lynn Munsinger have teamed up to bring an exotic menagerie to life. The rollicking, rhyming poems feature a wild variety of different animals, each one undeniably unique. William

Overview

Welcome to the Zany Zoo! An unusual bunch in here, it’s true, but if fun and silliness are what you seek, turn the pages, take a peek . . .

Author William Wise and illustrator Lynn Munsinger have teamed up to bring an exotic menagerie to life. The rollicking, rhyming poems feature a wild variety of different animals, each one undeniably unique. William Wise’s playful poetry is perfectly matched by Lynn Munsinger’s hilarious watercolor illustrations highlighting each creature’s distinct personality, from Gertrude the good agouti to Sabrina the carefree snake. Together Wise and Munsinger present young readers and listeners with this delightfully Zany Zoo, captured not in a cage but on the page!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Wise (Ten Sly Piranhas) serves up 25 poems about animals whose behavior is wacky mostly because it's so recognizably human: the subjects range from a pair of Little League-playing elephants to a gaggle of untalented geese who decide to mount a production of Hamlet. Those who enjoy over-the-top humor will most appreciate the plays on words: a "panda-monium" describes a raucous fiesta of the black-and-white bears, while "a social cat-astrophe" results when a feline's disco pants split in public. There's enough verbal bounce to amuse young ears, and Wise not only entertains but challenges children with his use of vocabulary: "Young Carlos was a crocodile,/ A species known for strength and guile./ `Of me,' he cried, `let all be wary!/ I`m the ruler of this estuary!' " Munsinger (the Tacky the Penguin books) helps provide a visual context for figuring out the unknown words, and proves once again that, when it comes to imagining anthropomorphized animals, she has few peers. No matter what species she puts her pen to, the result is always a creation that's at once touching and tickling. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Jamaica Johnson Conner
In the tradition of Mother Goose, this piece takes the reader through the habitats in a zoo, revealing each animal's story in rhyming verse. The familiar and exotic animals include: Daisy the Dog; Lambert the Lion; Young Yuri, the Yak; Elephants Kermit and Kit; Gertrude the Agouti; Sabrina the Snake; Bradford the Bat; Rob the Raccoon; Harry the Horse; Pedro the Panda; Tapir; Tess and Tom Tern; Kenneth the Kangaroo; Lulu the Skunk; Carlos the Crocodile; Bess the Tigress; Mary the Mouse; Olga the Otter; Wally the Whale; Carlotta the Cow; Geese; Kevin the Cat; Hope the Hyena; Charley the Chicken; and Rabbits Basil, Betty, Bobby, and Bill. Wise immerses the reader in figurative language, such as puns ("melon collie" for melancholy), allusions (Kentucky Fried Chicken), cliches ("just desserts" and "don't look a gift horse in the mouth"), personification, and more. Challenging vocabulary is also used, such as "purloined." Detailed, colorful, and humorous illustrations appeal to the reader through priceless character expressions, which communicate the rhymes and character flawlessly. Though written for an elementary audience, high school students could also benefit from the playful and memorable examples of literary and poetic devices.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-"Panda-monium" reigns in this hilarious and pun-filled book of rhymes. Deftly animated with Munsinger's distinctive pictures of animals, all 25 poems introduce a familiar phrase and painlessly stretch the vocabulary. Words such as "prodigious," "estuary," and "purloined" are presented in context with descriptive pictures that make intuiting their meaning possible. Grown-ups might find some of the humor a bit cheesy, but it is hard not to laugh when geese attempt Shakespeare and put on a "truly fowl play" or a "real cool" feline experiences "social cat-astrophe" when his disco duds split at the seams. However, some of the references are beyond the experience of most children. For example, when Hope the hyena, a dancer, is too scary when performing as the Sugar Plum Fairy, she is "switched-to Faust/And the regions infernal." Fortunately, the text and artwork allow youngsters to enjoy the verse without completely grasping the occasional adult-oriented details. Wise also incorporates some unusual creatures into his amusing menagerie, including Yuri the yak, Gertrude the agouti, a tapir, and terns. This book is a fantastic tool for sharing literature and language with a humorous and dramatic flare. It's sure to appeal to a wide audience.-Piper L. Nyman, formerly at Fairfield Civic Center Library, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Wise will drop readers fond of relentlessly pun-ishing doggerel into hog heaven with this manic menagerie. From a watermelon-loving "melon collie" to four garlic-eating rabbits making a "hares' breath escape" from Mr. Fox, each set of verses brings a fresh round of "panda-monium," "fowl play" or "otter confusion"-all of which is expertly captured in Munsinger's jovial, finely detailed watercolors. Follow this up with Charles Hoce's Beyond Old MacDonald: Funny Poems from Down on the Farm (2005), illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes, for yet more sheep thrills and wordplay. After all, "one good tern deserves another." (Picture book/poetry. 6-8)
From the Publisher

"Not your usual zoo, this happy gathering of poetry and verse is broadly inclusive of its denizens, who live in unfettered joy within handsomely designed pages." Horn Book, Starred

"Exuberant wordplay fuels this animal-themed collection of light verse. . . . Munsinger will keep kids riveted with her goofy, anthropomorphic illustrations, and the chanting rhythms and spot-on rhymes will perk up listeners even when the humor misses the bull’s-eye." —Booklist Booklist, ALA

"This book is a fantastic tool for sharing literature and language with a humorous and dramatic flare. It's sure to appeal to a wide audience." School Library Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780544313507
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
10/15/2013
Sold by:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
32
File size:
12 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Lynn Munsinger has illustrated more than ninety books for children, many written by her frequent collaborator, Helen Lester. She lives in Vermont.

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