Monday, September 15, 2008

Put me in the Zoo by Robert Lopshire

Written & Illustrated by Robert Lopshire


Age group: Baby, Preschool to Early Grade readers

This book is right on spot…Seuss style simply never goes out of fashion

Written with only 100 words, it’s a story about a leopard who wants to work/live in a zoo, but the zoo does not want him. He goes about convincing a little boy and a girl that with all the things he and his spots can do, zoo is where he belongs. Eventually, the children end up convincing the leopard that he will be a perfect fit in a circus considering all the special things he can do. In the end, he is one happy leopard.

So, what’s so great about this book with a story so simple or you may even think, not quite stimulating? Well, here I go with my reasons as to how the book works at different levels in its appeal, and therefore has remained one of our favorite Dr. Seuss books the last couple of years.

• There are not many books out there that you can pick that will interest children of different age groups. In our family, with a toddler and a first-grader, Dr.Seuss’ books have always worked great for read-alouds and read-alone time. My older one loves reading Dr. Seuss to herself, and her little sister.

• For my toddler, this is a wonderful book because it offers me an opportunity to teach her colors. (the spots change colors on every page – one of the neat things that the leopard can do with his spots!)

• The rhymes, unlike other Dr.Seuss books, do not have any made-up, non-sensical words. Therefore, easy to understand and appreciate by the very young children who are just starting to talk.

• With spots flying in the air, climbing trees, cats, it’s hard to miss the magical and the imaginative elements that the book so nicely offers to youngsters.

• As with any Dr. Seuss, drawings flow with the words and capture the expressions on the characters vividly.

• Overall, Put me in the Zoo is a different kind of a book that is sure to make your little ones fall in love with the character, text, pictures, and story.

• I cannot overemphasize the fact that overall, it’s a light-hearted, heart-warming, fun and hilarious book about what all the leopard can do with his spots. Honestly, that’s all you need to focus on. But, if you are someone who is sensitive to the issue of animals living in zoos and circus, and if you yourself hate going or taking your children to the zoo or the circus, then this book is not for you. However, if you look at the positive side, one cannot overlook the fact that the book actually offers a subtle lesson, which is, do not stop trying because you faced rejections in one place (which is the zoo in the leopard’s case). Another opportunity may not be far away. ( as in the circus, which offers a perfect fit for the leopard with his “right on the spot” skillset!) It all depends on how you want to internalize the subtle undercurrents of the book.

1 comment:

ranjani.sathish said...

Hi Praba
How are you ?! Nice review...we have read this book too and Sooraj enjoyed it. I think it was one of the first Dr.Seuss books we picked up.

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