Reading in the Rain: Books for Kids -- Visiting the Zoo

This week’s recommendations focus on the unforgettable experience of visiting the zoo. There’s nothing like seeing an animal up close to instill a sense of curiosity in kids. Read these books in anticipation of a visit to the zoo. Print off a copy of the map of the zoo and talk about what kind of animals you’ll see in each exhibit. See if you can find those animals in these books. Zoo animal books are also great for discussing size, shape, and color by comparing one animal to another. Currently, King County Library System (KCLS) has copies of these books in their catalog.


Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell

Little Simon, 978-1-416-94737-0

This board book has an unnamed narrator who writes to the zoo asking for a pet. Unfortunately, the zoo gets confused and they keep sending pets that just won’t do. Each animal is delivered in a crate or a basket and you have to lift the flap to see what’s inside. The flaps make the book interactive to share together or alone if your child just pulls it off the shelf.





Hippo? No Rhino! by Jeff Newman

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 978-0-316-15573-1


This is a book about a rhino that lives at the zoo. Unfortunately, the zookeeper in charge of putting up the signs is a little confused. He puts up a sign that says “Hippo” in front of the rhino. As people walk up and say, “Hippo,” the rhino corrects each of them with a, “No, rhino!” The entertaining thing about this book that uses just over 20 words, most of them rhyme with rhino, “Fix the sign-o!” is knowing that no matter what, the rhino will say, “No, rhino!”




A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead, Illustrated by Robin Stead

Roaring Brook Press, 978-1-596-43402-8


Winner of the 2011 Caldecott Medal, this understated picture book features the dedicated and loyal friendship between zookeeper, Amos McGee, and his friends, the zoo animals. Delicate and beautiful pictures illustrate this timeless story about the little things we do to show how much we love and care for one another.