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4.12  ·  Rating Details  ·  747 Ratings  ·  160 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

(showing 1-30 of 1,247)
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Oct 12, 2008 Keith rated it it was amazing
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 liked it
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
Sep 26, 2007 Julia rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks, 2007
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.
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
Jul 07, 2011 Gregory Walters rated it really liked it
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 Forrester
Oct 06, 2012 Amy Forrester rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 11, 2014 Becky rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 16, 2014 Robin rated it liked it
Shelves: clever, picture-book
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
Sep 07, 2014 Travis Mueller rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 14, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it
The kids LOVED this book. We read it three times in a row. Super fun picture book.
Aug 23, 2013 Caedmon rated it it was amazing
Awesome book. Now I love Adam rex
Feb 04, 2011 Tyler rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
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)
An Abundance of Books
Nov 07, 2010 An Abundance of Books rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Featured at An Abundance of Books

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,
Sep 29, 2013 Rachel rated it liked it
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
Jan 29, 2014 Specialk rated it really liked it
Shelves: story-time
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!
Jun 27, 2015 Romelle rated it it was amazing
Comical and fun! One of the few picture books that actually made me laugh out loud. I especially love that the animals in the story use their imaginations and ingenuity to make the best of their captive situation and create something out of nothing. Overall, an imaginative book. The illustrative detail is also something that entertains and delights.Bravo, Adam Rex!
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
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
Oct 17, 2010 N_Colleen rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
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
Aug 10, 2015 Sue rated it it was amazing
My daughter's favorite book -- she never ever gets tired of it. And lucky thing for her, neither to we. It's a go-to book when we can't find anything else to read at night. It's clever, funny and original.

How many times have we read it? Let's just say a lot!
Aug 30, 2011 Lori rated it really liked it
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
Jun 19, 2015 Matthew rated it it was amazing
Highly amusing in an unusual way. The kind of book that you want to share with an audience. The illustrations really drive this story, though the odd requests that the boy fields from the many zoo creatures made me laugh too. Good read.
Apr 24, 2015 Karen rated it really liked it
This book had a very creative and original twist on a zoo story. And a whole new twist on that "don't talk to strangers" warning.

This book also had some truly excellent artwork.
Mar 29, 2015 Kristine rated it liked it
Animals at the zoo all ask a girl to bring them things such as trashcans, tires, flashlights, and more. Are they using them for the purposes that they say?
Brenda Thompson
An entertaining book about a boy who goes to the zoo and all the animals secretly ask him to get something for them. Very funny!
Nov 02, 2015 Mikehaught rated it it was amazing
One of the funniest kid books ever and the illustrations are fantastic too. Corn corn corn fuel fuel fuel....
Aug 23, 2008 Paul rated it really liked it
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
Oct 08, 2015 Rainey rated it really liked it
Cute picture book with so many fun animals. If only zoos were really like this...
TW Mystery Reader
Jul 06, 2015 TW Mystery Reader rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindergarten, humor
The animals at the zoo have some unusual requests for a little girl who goes to visit.
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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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