Books About The Zoo

Books-About-The-ZooThe zoo was a favorite as a child and now as a mom even though it’s a huge event to pack up the kids we all have a blast. We keep the fun going by reading books about eh zoo and talking about our own experiences after getting home.

Inside a Zoo in the City by Alyssa Satin Capucilli is a rebus read along , so children who can’t read words yet can help read this with pictures put right into the text! The story is repetitive and builds with one animal and page at a time. Preschoolers love these books and the repetitive nature of it makes it interactive and fun!

1, 2, 3 to the Zoo by Eric Carle is fun counting book perfect for toddlers. Actually as I type this my toddler is reading it. There are no words, just pictures and numbers and that makes it perfect for toddlers who are just learning both numbers and animals because parents can read it slowly counting , naming the animals and making the animal sounds, or more quickly just counting!

Peek-a-Zoo! by Marie Torres Cimarusti is a vibrant lift the flap book that goes through sounds different animals make while playing peek a boo with the reader. What I like about this book is that the flaps offer a chance for your baby or toddler to anticipate what animal it hiding as well as the sound , so it grows with them. Also the flaps are large enough that little hands can grab them and won’t get frustrated.

Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann is simply one of my favorite books ever. I love it and love that my daughter doesn’t fuss when I read it to her because it was a special book for my son when he was little and it’s a book he will still curl up and read quietly with us, making it fun cuddle time for all three of us. If you aren’t familiar with this book it’s all about a sneaky gorilla who unlocks all the animals at the zoo and they quietly follow the zoo keeper home and climb into bed with him, until his wife wakes up! I love this book cause I relate to the zoo keepers wife , when I wake up there is always a sneaky 3 year old gorilla in my bed!

The Great Escape from City Zoo  by Tohby Riddle is a really funny book, as long as the readers are old enough to get it. Even if they don’t get the tongue and cheek humor young kids will still enjoy the story. It’s a funny tale about 4 zoo animals who break free from the zoo and live life on the outside as fugitives. The fugitive animals get themselves into many pop culture scenes adults reading the book will appreciate like  crossing the street like the Abbey Road album cover, another that channels Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks and more. I loved this book and really appreciate it when authors recognize that parents like to have a little something just for them in a book from time to time as well.

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  1. Georgine says

    We love zoo books – maybe t is that we love animals. Goodnight gorilla is a favorite. My girls love the black pages, one with the animal’s goodnights, the other with the “Mom’s” eyes wide open. I will look for the Eric Carle, my little one is learning her numbers. And thanks for the play room photos. Great ideas!

  2. says

    It is funny, I decided I was going to do zoo activities this weekend so I came to your site to get some ideas and you had a list of zoo books up. Some we have read and some we need to check out, hopefully our library has them.

    Have you read “Dear Zoo” by Rod Campbell.

    I love his books, it is great interaction books for children as something, in this case zoo animals, is hidden behind the flap and my children love saying the name of the animal.

  3. says

    These look like awesome books, thank you! Another thing that many of my friends absolutely love are these “100 Animals to Spot at the Zoo” cards. Kids can bring them to the zoo, and look at the card to learn more about a certain animal that interests them. They have all sorts of interesting facts and info about the animal… so cool! Even my 2 year old loves them… even though he can’t read, he loves finding the card that matches the animal he sees!
    (I know, I’m biased cause I’m a consultant with usborne books, but I can’t help commenting on your great post!)
    If anyone likes the card idea, you can find them here :

    Thanks again for this cool book list!


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