Zoo Song

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Gertrude the hippo, Herman the lion and Fabio the bear are producing conflicting noises and all manner of disruption in the zoo. Good neighbors they're not: Gertrude's singing is not music to Herman's earshe cries, bangs against the door, throws things at her for distraction, but on she goes, hitting those high notes. Fabio, though quiet, sulks in his cell and is forced to participate in the conflict. Things change when Herman fights back with a violin and Fabio with dancing shoes; all at once the trio find themselves in harmony. Although a replay of an old song, Bottner's moral tale is light, and readers will harken to it. And Munsinger is well in tune with the text, with her sketched-in-crayon animals who give their colorful performances and rid themselves of unanimal-like symptoms of very human afflictions. Ages 5-8. (August)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2 Gertrude the hippo, Herman the lion, and Fabio the bear are neighbors in the zoo. Gertrude loves to sing (loudly and horribly), Herman plays (screeches) the violin, and poor Fabio is in utter misery until a little girl gives him her red shoes. Trying them on, he discovers a rhythm he didn't know he possessed. Voila, a dancer is born. Fabio is entranced with his new-found talent, dances all night, and doesn't sleep a wink. Neither do Gertrude or Herman. The cacophony continues, the zoo is noisyvery, very noisyall night long. Miraculously, discord turns to melody as the morning sun appears. Herman harmonizes with Gertrude's new song (sung softer and sweeter than ever before) and Fabio keeps a lilting beat with his quietly tapping feet. Still, the ``music'' leaves much to be desired, but they don't realize this because for once they are all playing together. True harmony is achieved in this delightfully subtle story of consideration and cooperation. Artfully orchestrated with soft, crayon-like pastel illustrations and simple, flowing text, the story is filled with expression and action. Mary Lou Budd, Milford South Elementary School, Ohio
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780590337731
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/1/1989
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Barbara Bottner
Barbara Bottner is the author of more than 36 books. She lives in Los Angeles.

Michael Emberley has been writing and illustrating children’s books since 1979. He lives in Ireland.

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