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4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  626 ratings  ·  140 reviews
A child, a visit to the zoo, animals--sounds like good, simple all-American fun. But there’s something different about this zoo. These animals want things. Unusual things. What will they do with them?

Laughs, jokes, and surprises abound in this graphic picture book about a feisty, all-too-helpful little girl and her role in aiding and abetting zoo-animal shenanigans. Adam R
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 1st 2007 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Community Reviews

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This is the best kid's book I've seen in a loooong time. A little girl has to help a bunch of animals at a zoo with random tasks, which sounds totally lame and sanitized, but that's sort of the point. Her exchanges with the animals get weirder and weirder as they go along, and the climax of the story made my girlfriend's eyes bug out of her head and she talked about it for the next half hour.

The main animals are painted beautifully, and the rest of the zoo is sketched out with random sight gags
Sep 29, 2009 Kathryn rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Kathryn by: Chandra
3.5 STARS. This is a fun, imaginative story about a child (girl? I know there has been debate on the somewhat androgynous artwork; I do think it's a girl, notice the barrettes (?) in the hair???) who visits a very unusual zoo. Or, perhaps, she is the unusual one? In any case, she soon discovers that the animals can communicate with her, and they ask her to collect all sorts of odd items for seemingly individual purposes--or could there be a more communal effort in the works??? The illustrations ...more
Paul  Hankins
A young girl's trip to the zoo takes an interesting turn as each of the animals calls her over with a "Psst!" to get her to come over so they can ask her to bring some special item that will make the animal's life better.

The fonts and graphics after the first two animals might help younger readers to make some predictions about who is calling next. If I were to share this book in the classroom, I would probably use a document camera to display the zoo map found in the front and back of the book.
Gregory Walters
Boys like noise. It's a generalization, but when I hear loud tractor noises, block banging and Hot Wheels traffic jams coming from the kindergarten, it's more often Billy than Sally who is conducting the orchestral din. Walk by a construction site and survey who has stopped to watch the cranes and jackhammers disturbing the peaceful horn-honking urban landscape. Guys, I'll bet. (I wonder if anyone has studied horn honking. Wouldn't be surprised if there is a clear gender gap.)

So think of the wor
Amy Musser
One day a young girl goes to the zoo and has a series of strange conversations with the animals. Each of them asks the girl to bring them something, some tires, paint, trash cans, flashlights, bicycle helmets, corn. It’s an odd list of items, but they give the girl money (coins picked from the fountains) so she dutifully buys everything at the superstore across the street. You’ll have to read the book to find out what the animals do with their treasures. Let’s just say it’s probably not your fir ...more
I think for me, Adam Rex is like Michel Gondry - one of those people with really unique ideas who I hope always get to do their own thing - and whether or not each project is entirely perfect, whatever he makes, you know it's going to be interesting, beautiful and like nothing else out there.
My kids LOVE this book! They giggle and giggle and giggle when reading this book. They actually started to recite it in the car the other day because we had read it so much and they enjoyed it that much! As an adult, I also enjoyed this book. There is humor that kids won't get but yet adults will find funny and punny. The humor is mostly in the illustrations and there are very few words-most are dialogue between the girl who goes to the zoo and the animals that talk to her. The author/illustrato ...more
The illustrations here are clever and fun. So much to see and catch on to, visually, and with word play. Very much looking forward to sharing this with one of my favorite young boy-os.
Travis Mueller
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The kids LOVED this book. We read it three times in a row. Super fun picture book.
Awesome book. Now I love Adam rex
This is probably one of the best Kids' books I've read in a long time. It is intricate and simple, filled with little funny easter eggs.

What happens when a bunch of animals have been cooped up for too long?
Pssst!You're about to find out.

A little girl goes to the zoo and all of the animals become rather demanding as they ask her for items.

(view spoiler)
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Using a mix of colored pencils and paint (can't tell the type, only that the style is awesome), Rex tells the story of a little girl off to visit the zoo. Everything is going along in typical zoo fashion when she suddenly hears someone say "Pssst!". She looks around and all she sees is the gorilla. Surely not... yep, it's the gorilla. He's got a very simple request: he broke the tire on his tire swing and would like her to pick up a new one for him. Actually two,
While roaming the zoo, a little girl gets stopped by various animals with requests. By combining graphic novel elements within a picture book format, each conversion happens quickly, while at the same time establishing a pattern. With each additional animal, the girl becomes slightly more annoyed at the predictability. The story is far from predictable though, as their requests, which start out reasonable enough, become odder and odder, and finally culminate in an unexpected way.

The titular Pss
This wouldn't make a very good read-aloud book, because of the comic strip-style dialog balloons and the small details in the pictures. It is, however, completely hilarious. A young girl goes to the zoo, only to be waylaid by animals who all have perfectly reasonable requests: tires for the gorilla, whose swing is broken; helmets for the sloths, who keep falling out of the trees; flashlights for the bats, because while they like the dark, the hippo doesn't... But what do they REALLY want all thi ...more
Love this story! I only wish the illustrations (conversations with the animals) were a little larger to be more easily shared with a story time group. But so many possibilities could stem from this story! A felt board with all the items the animals requested (and start to build the car on the board as the story progresses or after the story as a memory game to see who remembered what went where); have puppets/felt boards of all the animals. So many voices to do!
A little girl goes to the zoo one day and is called over to each of the animal enclosures (by their inhabitants) and asked to acquire certain things. The gorilla wants some new tires (his tire swing is broken), the bats want some flashlights (for their friend the hippopotamus, who doesn’t like the dark), etc. etc. Everyone has a (mostly) reasonable explanation for the thing(s) they want. The baboon hands over a sack of coins (collected by the peacock from the zoo’s fountain) to pay for it all, a ...more
Ruth Ann
When a little girl visits the zoo, she is surprised, then annoyed, to find the animals requesting that she bring them extraordingary items - like the gorilla's request for two new tires! Now, really, how can a little girl bring two new tires back to the zoo for a gorilla!?

Good book for a zoo storytime.
I decided to pick up a few Adam Rex illustrated books after reading "Chu's Day", which he illustrated with Neil Gaiman writing the book, and loving the illustrations. Most of his books are for a slightly older child than my son, but I had fun reading it to him nonetheless. Most of the reason I enjoyed this book were the quirky illustrations (a lot of play on words such as "Camel-lot", but also a batman next to the Bat Cave and a Narwhale snowglobe), though I thought the story was only okay. The ...more
PSST…would you love to know what things zoo animals secretly want or need? Well this is the book for you. This graphic picture book will take children ages 4-9 on a surprising adventure to find out what happens when a bunch of animals have been cooped up for too long. Adam Rex’s story is funny yet unusual as readers discover the hidden desires of animals and the little girl who is conned into helping retrieve the animals requests for silly things.

This would be a great book to use with younger r
Will be as important to read the pictures as it was to read the text. All kinds of humorous gems are hiding in the illustrations that will bring a smile or giggle to the reader; huge hamster balls so zoo animals can roam the zoo, an aged batman mascot greeting those who enter the bat cave, etc.

The girl is enlisted by various zoo animals to bring something back that will help alleviate their boredom. What they do with the items turns out to be a surprise.

I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Peeked at the re
To date, this is the closest I've seen Adam Rex come to making a children's book FOR children. His other books (especially the Frankenstein books) are more geared towards subversive adult readers than the children they're marketed to, but this book can capture both markets. While it does lack the depth and out and out insane mirth of his other works, it does have charm by the bucket.

As an aside, why are so many people in the reviews saying they had difficulty noticing the main character was a g
hilarious! so many gems in the illustrations, and a fun, clever story:)
Feb 22, 2014 Brian rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: kids
I loved the artwork, including the sight-gags. A great zoo book for kids.
Randy Jarvis
Gorgeous book with a fun silly story.
I used it for a story time at the library and made silly voices for all the animals and the kids loved it (aged 3-5)
Linnea McGowan
Dec 29, 2007 Linnea McGowan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: If reading on their own, second through fourth graders
I really love the hidden humor in this book! The illustrations all have "Where's Waldo" style jokes hidden (and sometimes right out in the open) in the backgrounds.

Very clever story, awesome use of mega-store (All things starting with "T" on sale...brilliant!), and really, who doesn't like randomly talking animals on occasion?

I do agree with another reviewer that the comic-book style format and speech bubbles does make it really tricky for larger groups. I'd love to use this in a storytime, but
Lydia Selden
I remember when I was little always getting this Book!
Steven Matview
Fun and creative. The ending made me laugh out loud!
The animals at the zoo need a few things so when a girl walks by their cages "Pssst!"they call out to her. Their requests are fun and unique and by the time she's finished she has quite list. Thanks to another zoo animal she has the means to pay for the items once she finds them. What the animals do with their supplies in not what you think. Told in both comic format and regular story format, there is a variety of illustrations to keep the reader engaged. I loved all the animals and her conversa ...more
Who knew that a leisurely day strolling through the zoo could be so much work? As the young girl in the story walks through trying to admire the animals she hears "Psssst!" from creature after creature requesting her to bring them a variety of objects. Everything from tires for the gorillas to paint for the penguins.

Adam Rex once again writes and illustrates a color fun book that is a big hit with young readers. The book would be a wonderful read aloud with a large group or enjoyed snuggling wi
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Adam Rex grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, the middle of three children. He was neither the smart one (older brother) or the cute one (younger sister), but he was the one who could draw. He took a lot of art classes as a kid, trying to learn to draw better, and started painting when he was 11. And later in life he was drawn down to Tucson in order to hone his skills, get a BFA from the University of Ar ...more
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