With illustrations first published in Animal Tricks, The Owl and the Woodpecker and other stories, Zoo Animals by Brian Wildsmith introduces youngsters to 28 animals (one per page) from around the world, including polar bears, meerkats and spider monkeys. Bite-size blurbs accompany each illustration and present basic facts ("Spider Monkeys use their tails like hands to grasp on to tree branches. Spider Monkeys live in Central and South America"). A Spanish-language edition, Los animales del zoologico, is also available.
There is a variety of animals from around the world depicted in the pages of this board book. In addition to the enjoyable pictures, the text imparts an interesting fact or two about the creature, which are aimed at a much older audience that those who would normally be handling board books. For example, ostriches are the largest birds and lay the largest eggs; the striped pattern of each zebra is unique like human fingerprints; the Red Panda is a member of the raccoon family, and moose are part of the deer family. Kids might enjoy taking this book to the zoo and seeing if they can match the pictures with the animals that they might encounter. Older kids who need books with sturdy pages will find this one of interest. 2002, Star Bright Books,
— Marilyn Courtot