I read Wild About Books to my 1st & 2nd graders this week. What fun! Author Judy Sierra's way with words kept them listening intently and entertained me through the whole story. The kids didn't understand why a hippo winning a Zoolitzer prize was funny, but I enjoyed the play on words. She truly has a gift for creating playful, "punny" rhymes.
Sierra also avoids focusing on the more common zoo animals and includes bandicoots, skinks, and onyx to keep things fresh and, a bonus - my students had lots of questions about the different animals, zoos, and other things that stood out as being both unfamiliar and interesting.
Bookmobile librarian, Mavis McGrew, mistakenly drives her bookmobile into a zoo and decides to make the best of it. She parks the bus, sets up her lounge chair and check-out system, grabs a book and starts reading. One by one the animals come closer to check things out and become hooked on reading. They read in pairs, in packs, in bunches or solo. They share jokes and poems and plays in trees, on boulders and in tiny shelters made of books. In fact, they become so addicted to reading that they build their own Zoobrary.
Marc Brown, of Arthur the aardvark fame, has illustrated this fun pro-literacy book in his typical cheerful, friendly style. Children are fascinated by his drawings and I noticed more than one of my students looking through the book on their own later, savoring the colorful artwork. He includes as many treats for adult readers' eyes and Sierra provides for their ears.
Buy this at your local bookstore, order it online, or better yet - check it out at your local