Dear Zoo: A Lift-the-Flap Book
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Dear Zoo: A Lift-the-Flap Book

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  7,695 ratings  ·  235 reviews
Dear Zoo is twenty-five years old -- and still as popular as ever!

And with an updated look, this children's classic is sure to delight a new generation of readers!
Board Book, 18 pages
Published May 8th 2007 by Little Simon (first published January 1st 1982)
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I borrowed the words from this book and set the book aside for parents to look at and/or check out. Its much more fun when you're "reading" this with babies and toddlers and using something fun, furry and soft.
When I "read" it, I had a box marked "From the Zoo" (as if the kids could read it) and I would just say the same line over and over again:
"I wrote to the zoo to send me a pet..." (That's a direct quote from the book) and then I'd pull out a different puppet from the box and bring it to lif...more
I've got a sticker on the back of my car that says "Dogs are for life, not just for Christmas" (What?!?! Ok, I'm one of those smug animal lovers who have naff, self righteous car stickers. And I couldn't say no to the animal charity where I got my dog from, when they asked me to stick it on my rear screen window.).

Regardless. Is it a bit hypocritical of me to be endorsing this book, based on my ethical beliefs that animals are not toys to be swapped, sold on, imprisoned or treated as inanimate o...more
The book ‘Dear Zoo’ by Rod Campbell was a favourite amongst the children at my nursery. It’s a story about a child who writes to the zoo asking for a pet, and receives a number of unsuitable animals from them. The children at my nursery really loved the interactive ‘lift the flap’ element and would ask for this book to be read to them again and again. After memorising the entire story they would then be reading it back to me!
It was a great way to build children’s knowledge and understanding of...more
This is a fun and interactive book, children will enjoy lifting the flaps. It describes they animals and explains why they would not be a suitable pet. This teaches children about the difference between wild animals and pets.
Children can guess what animals they think will be behind the flap and explain why, which encourages verbal reasoning. The book provides ample opportunity for discussion the children can talk about what animal they would like as a pet. The children will be asked to explain...more
‘Dear Zoo’ is written in the first person. The book is about an unnamed narrator, this allows children to take that role and be part of the action immediately. The child writes to the zoo asking for a pet. Campbell invites the reader to predict animals under each flap. The Zoo sends him undesirable pets, that is, a big elephant, a tall giraffe, a fierce lion, a grumpy camel, a scary snake, a naughty monkey and a jumpy frog. The child is surprised by the different pets and sends them back, all ex...more
Hassan Ali
Book review 4 - Dear Zoo – Rod Campbell (2010)

This book holds fond memories and still remains as a classic educational book for children in the past and present alike. You can almost sense the adventure the cook has to offer by taking a look at its front cover. It is colourful, exciting and fun. The book will aim at children from nursery to key stage one – and can be read quietly, aloud or listened. Why is this book such a charm to read and to look at? This book introduces children to the many...more
Dear Zoo

A letter is sent to the zoo, to find a new pet, which leads to a succession of different animals being sent out all of course are not suitable pets, until the last page of course.

The pop-up element to this story is suitable for children between the ages of 3-5; children enjoy discovering what animal is behind the door and allowing them to predict which animal might it be in each box from the zoo.

It could be used for:

Language and Literacy - Children could make their own zigzag book wit...more
Book Review 3

Rod Campbell

Dear Zoo

This story is a fun introduction to animals and their characteristics. It is written in the first person, with repetitive sentences. The nature of repetitiveness enables young readers to predict and engage with the story.

The story is written as a letter to a zoo asking them to send a pet to the reader. Each page has a flap which carefully hides the animal sent from the zoo and a written clue for example, ‘heavy’ or ‘danger’ on the animal’s container. At the end...more
Carina Mcdonagh
'Dear Zoo' by Rod Campbell is a very simple story for young children that tells the story of a zoo delivering all sorts of unusual and inappropriate animals to a customer as a pet. The story is written in the first person, so any child reading the story would at once feel part of the action, the reader is never actually told who is receiving the pets. 'Dear Zoo' is also a lift the flap book, which makes it more interactive and kinaesthetic for children, it also encourages them to use their imagi...more
Meghan Griffiths
Dear Zoo is a fun and interactive lift-the-flap book, based on a letter to the zoo for a pet. Underneath the flaps different zoo animals can be found, including: an elephant, a tiger, a snake and a monkey. All of these animals are deemed unsuitable pets and sent back to the zoo for being "too fierce", "too large", "too scary" or "too naughty". However, in the end the perfect pet is found.

After rediscovering this book today, I found it nostalgic, remembering the fun I had as a kid guessing which...more
Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell

A pop book in which a small child writes to the zoo requesting the zoo for an animal. The zoo sends him different animals, which are all inappropriate and are sent back until the zoo sends him a puppy which he is delighted with.

This book is a brilliant read for beginners as it consists of basic words which beginners are familiar with, and the use ‘lift the flap’ encourages the children to guess what is beneath the flap.
This book would appeal to children aged between 3-5...more
Mumtaz Hussain

This is great book about someone who writes to the zoo asking for an animal. But each time something is wrong with the animal. This introduces adjectives to children and extends their vocabulary. This also gives an indication of the characteristics of the animals in the book. This is a great book as children can guess which animal they think is under the flap before they lift the flap.
Dear Zoo - Rod Campbell

Celebrating it's thirtieth year in publication Dear Zoo is still as enjoyable today as it was in 1982. Dear Zoo is a short tale of a child that writes to a Zoo asking for a pet. One by one the Zoo sends seven animals, all of which are unsuitable, and have to be sent back. Finally the Zoo sends a puppy which is perfect and the person keeps the puppy.

The text is very simple and easy to follow. The bulk of the narrative is repeated on each double page, only the animal and th...more
Sharmin Ali
A letter is written to the zoo asking for a pet. Firstly the zoo sent an elephant but it’s too big. Then a giraffe is sent but its too tall. A lion is sent but it’s too fierce. Next animal sent is a camel but it’s too grumpy. A snake is sent but it’s too scary. So then they sent a monkey but the monkey was too naughty. Then they sent a frog but the frog was too jumpy. The zoo had to think very hard about what they needed to send in order for it to be perfect. So they sent a little puppy and he w...more
Ann Marron
Dear Zoo is a book I remember being read and re-read by my younge sister when she was a baby. It is a lift-the-flap-book which always captures the attention of the young reader. It is another book i found in my SEA book corner and a favourite with the class. I read a lot of books with a child in the class who was a selective mute but it was this book that always made her come to life. Although she did not speak to me, she would make the animal noises for me so I would turn the page and keep read...more
Paul Foley
This is an excellent reading book for reception class. It is about a boy who writes to the zoo for a pet and the zoo sends him a number of pets which he sends back for a number of reasons eg.” The Giraffe is too tall”. The good thing about the book is that it is a lift the flap book so the animals are covered. It would be useful for introducing a lesson about different animals eg. Read that page and get the children what animal at the zoo would be too tall? There are a lot of uses for this book...more
Deborah Malaponti
Dear Zoo is an entertaining children’s book of the zoo sending a pet to a young boy. The zoo sends many pets which all have different qualities, which are just not right for the child. The fact that the book has big images and flaps for the children to pull down makes it quite an interactive book. Each flap has a clue to what the animal could be inside the flap which also allows for the excitement of guessing the animal. It has a repetitive structure which encourages young readers to join it. I...more
Ross Oates
Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell is a story of the zoo sending various animals to a child. The zoo sends many animals which all have different characteristics but each time the child finds something wrong with each animal. The book has flaps, which allow the children to be interactive with the book. It has a repetitive structure, which helps the young readers to recognize words that they will often use. While on placement I used this book with my year 1 class to help them start writing sentences. The re...more
Dear Zoo is a flap book about the zoo sending out an ideal pet. One by one, the zoo sends many animals, but they are all sent back because they don’t quite make the ‘perfect pet’ – Until finally, after careful thought, they send the perfect pet.
Dear Zoo is a wonderful flap book that most young children (EYFS) will find very appealing as well as help trigger of their thinking in the quest to explore their curiosity of what animal lies behind the flaps. This book could also be read in Year 1 to il...more
I remember reading this book as child and still love it. The 'lift the flaps' make the book interactive which is a great way of getting young children interested in the book. Children in the early years would be interested in what's behind the flaps. This book is also a great way to get children talking about the different characteristics of animals in simple terms. Children can be asked to describe what they can see in the pictures. Furthermore this book is available as dual language books whic...more
Jaide Simran
'Dear Zoo' by Rod Campbell is one of my favourite childrens books. The books allows the children to recognise different animals in an exciting way. The anticipation of lifting the flap makes the book both exciting and engaging. The writer describes the animals that the Zoo has sent him. He ends up sending each one of the animals back to the Zoo because of a characteristic he does not like, which is associated with that specific animal. This makes the story humorous yet educational.

The Zoo does...more
May 26, 2014 Simon added it
You have got to ask some serious questions about the ethics of a zoo that will send a tiger(!) to you at the merest postal request. That's just cavalier at best.
Dear zoo is a classic story written by Rod Campbell. Reading it brought me back to my childhood as I remember it fondly from my time at school. ‘Dear Zoo’ is a very short picture story containing one simple sentence accompanied by an image to engage and support the writing and reader. As a result, it probably aimed at children between 4-6. Dear Zoo is a simple story about a child who writes to his local zoo for a pet. When the zoo sends him an elephant the child says it is too big to be a pet an...more
This is a fun and interactive picture book for young children; they can enjoy lifting the flaps of the book that would be great for predicting what animal is being introduced next. Making the book exciting children discover which animal is under the flap on each page with coloful pictures is going to be able to encourage verbal reasoning I believe. The adult (I) and the children can have an opportunity for discussion about such as what animal they would llike as a pet. engage
Jawaher Mirza
This wonderful lift-the-flap book is all about a search for the right pet. The text follows a pattern which invites constant re-reading. I reckon this book would delight the very young. This though board book is ideal for children in Nursery and Reception.
I am aware this book is available in a range of different languages from Mantra Lingua Publishers which would be a good idea to have in the EYFS classroom book corner for children with EAL needs.
(view spoiler)...more
Christen Tulli
Category: Participation Book

Publication date: 1982

Annotation is posted above via GoodReads

Themes/Topics: Repetition, Zoo animals, adjectives

Ways to Use Book:
* This is undeniably a book for toddlers, however you could use it for a lesson on adjectives to very young elementary students as well. One each page, ask "How does the author Mr. Campbell describe this character?" Then, ask the students to talk about their pet or favorite animal using their own description words.
* Of course, this would be...more
Jonathan Fowle
Dear Zoo is a great children's book, about someone who writes a letter to the zoo asking for an animal.Different animals are sent, but some are "too big", "too tall" or "too scary" and so they get sent back to the zoo. Children get to open the flap to see the latest animal the unknown writer has been sent from the zoo, until he or she gets sent a dog, which is just "perfect".

I recently used this book in a Year 1 class and the children loved guessing which animal would be behind the flap. After...more
Michelle Byrne
Dear zoo is about a child who wants a pet and writes to the zoo to send them one. Each page contains a different zoo animal cleverly hidden if only slightly by a verity of suitable containers in the form of fun interactive flaps for children to peel back to reveal the animal inside. Children enjoy being able to guess the animal hiding behind the flap and revealing it. Each time the animal is not suitable and the story uses a good selection of adjectives to explain why they are not. This is a fun...more
Jan 26, 2014 Brandon rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Brandon by:
Dear Zoo is a story about a very ungrateful child (presumably, as only children are dumb enough to write a letter to a zoo). This kid does nothing but complain as the zoo breaks many, many laws bending backwards trying to please him. (view spoiler)...more
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