When Jess and Jack opened the gates to the Zoo,
it was strangely deserted. Nobody said BOO!
‘Where’s the new roo?’ said Jess, looking round.
‘It’s never this quiet. I can’t hear a sound.’
When Jess and Jack arrive at the zoo to begin their day and to check on their newest animal, they find everything suspiciously quiet. None of the animals are to be seen, but it’s clear where they’ve been. There are open cages, and animal scats and tracks everywhere. They follow the tracks, the scats, the feathers and down. They know their animals love to roam free, but are keen to get them back before night falls. Just when Jess is beginning to worry, she finds Jack and the animals too. Illustrations are full of fun and humour as the animals conduct their big Hullabaloo.
‘The Great Zoo Hullabaloo’ tells a story of disappearing zoo animals, the tracks they leave behind and the reason they have vanished, all in rhyme. Young readers are invited to speculate about where the animals might be, then to join in when they are discovered. Both zookeepers are relieved to find their animals, and to join in the shenanigans. There are plenty of animals to identify, and rhythms to replicate. Recommended for pre-schoolers.
The Great Zoo Hullabaloo!, Mark Carthew ill Anil Tortop New Frontier Publishing 2017 ISBN: 9781925059786
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s author and bookseller
In the city there’s a zoo.
In the zoo there’s a lion.
And in the lion there’s…
In the city zoo, a grumpy lion eats everything – or, rather, everyone – in sight. A dentist, a hairdresser, a zookeeper, even his fellow animals. But while the pandemonium and fear grows, a small boy called Richard watches. He knows what to do. Soon, thanks to his bravery and quick thinking, the lion is back in its cage, and its captives have been freed, unharmed.
In the Lion is a delightfully humorous picture book. The text is cumulative, encouraging youngsters to join in and to predict. The illustrations, drawn in graphite and coloured digitally, are full of life and colour. The massive lion manages to be both cute and ferocious at the same time, and the human characters are diverse. The little boy hero is delightful.
This is Foley’s debut as author/illustrator – he previously illustrated The Last Viking (written by Norman Jorgensen) – and will delight.
In the Lion, by James Foley
Fremantle Press, 2012
This book is available from good bookstores or online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.