This hardcover picture book offers young readers a sprightly jaunt to the zoowith a twist. All �going to the zoo' stories include interesting things to see (which of course happens herecheetahs, gorillas, koalas and more, all shown in the midst of amusing adventures). But what is most interesting in this one is what everyone (except the reader, of course) DOESN'T SEE: a giant anaconda! Said reptile slyly slithers out of its pond and sneaks up on Class Two. One by one, the studentsand even their teacherare swallowed by the crafty snake. In the end it is all up to one little girl who catches on to what is happening and finds a funny way to save the day. The story is told in rhyme, which works most of the time quite nicely. The full-color illustrations are appropriately silly and energetic. The facial expressions in these pictures tell volumes, whether human or animal. Kids will enjoy all the bonus creatures doing funny things in the background�and will want to turn the pages to find out who has gone missing next! Reviewer: Dianne Ochiltree
This British import is similar to Nan Bodsworth's A Nice Walk in the Jungle (Viking, 1990; o.p.). Neon cartoons accompany rhymes of varying meter as a multiethnic class investigates the chaos at a zoo. Soon, an orange-and-black anaconda with op-art eyes swallows the youngsters at an escalating pace until Molly saves the day by prying its jaws open with a stick, allowing the rest of the group to rescue the other kids, their teacher, and Joe, "a boy they didn't know." Some vocabulary and one or two unclear phrases ("they didn't see the anaconda ponder") may puzzle the younger set, but the humor on each page and the ick factor (children are slimy post-rescue) will surely tickle the fancy of most field-trip participants.
Gay Lynn Van VleckCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
A visit to the zoo turns suddenly perilous for a rambunctious class in this bouncy cautionary tale. So wrapped up are the children in racing about, watching "hippos hopping in the dirt," "monkeys eating chocolate dessert" and similar antics that they don't notice the giant, smiling anaconda slithering quietly up from behind. Half the class, plus the teacher, has disappeared by ones and twos down the hatch before young Molly sees the danger and bravely thrusts a stick into the snake's mouth sideways. Out march the swallowed-seen in Chapman's brightly colored, full-bleed cartoons as pop-eyed, dazed-looking and covered in gooey slime. Away they all flee, as Jarman warns, "If ever you go on safari or visit a zoo, / keep your eyes open, whatever you do." Just the ticket for reading prior to a class trip. (Picture book. 6-8)