A visit to the zoo is a great family outing during the summer months, and sharing a book or two with your kids before, during, or after your visit can be a great way to infuse literacy and learning into a fun filled day with the animals. There are so many great books about the zoo, but below are just a few of my favorites.
Every day, zookeeper Amos McGee would take time out of his day to visit his animal friends, whether it’s playing chess with Elephant or reading stories to Owl, but one day he wakes to aches and chills. He decides to take the day off from work, but when he doesn’t show, his animal friends grow worried and pay him a visit at home. This sweet story is accompanied by charming pencil illustrations that won this title the Caldecott Medal in 2011.
Originally published in 1954, The Happy Lion is a classic picture set in a small French zoo where the local townsfolk love to stop and say, “Bonjour, Happy Lion.” Then one day, the Happy Lion finds that the zookeeper forgot to close his door, and he decides to take a stroll and visit all his friends who greet him every day. But why is everyone running away in panic? Check out what happens to The Happy Lion in this delightful and timeless story of friendship.
This is a book I remember reading to my little one over and over and over again, and so I had to include it here. Originally published in 1963, this amusing picture book was reissued in 2000 with full color illustrations created by the award winning illustrator, Steven Kellogg. In this tale, all the zoo animals are trying to get some sleep, but unfortunately the new baby beebee bird is wide awake and ready to sing. After a long night of no sleep, the animals get together to devise a plan which will ensure a good night’s rest for everyone. This is a story sure to please, but beware; you too may be reading this one over and over again.
Woodland Park Zoo at the Library!
This summer, the Woodland Park Zoo is bringing the Zoo to the Seattle Public Library. For younger kids, check out Little Critters, a free program for ages 5 and under. Educators from the Zoo teach your kids about an animal through puppet stories, and then let them meet and touch that animal in real life! Join us this morning at the Greenwood Public Library at 11:00 a.m., or come to the Montlake Branch on Thursday, July 31st at 11:00 a.m.
Looking for more picture books about the zoo? Click Here.