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3.75  ·  Rating details ·  577 Ratings  ·  140 Reviews
Winter weather is keeping children from visiting the zoo. So the animals are out of sorts—listless, grumpy, and no longer fun. All except two little friends, a very small hippo and a baby kangaroo. Their hip-hopping, toe-tapping,  and rap-rocking soon has the other animals joining in the hip-aroo beat. "Racoons danced in pairs, baboons danced in troops, and snakes joined t ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published August 9th 2011 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2011)
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Rating details
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Matt Garcia
May 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cute book with clever and catchy twists on songs. The illustrations were classic Marc Brown and the book reminded me a lot of the movie Sing!
Sep 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaway
Reviewed at my blog: HERE @ Teacher.Mother.Reader Book Blog

ZooZical is a new picture book written by Judy Sierra and illustrated by Marc Brown. This is the type of book that screams to be picked up and shared with children. Those of you who love Marc Brown will really enjoy the illustrations too. This hardcover is big and bright, so are the characters.

It all starts when the zoo animals get into a funk. They don’t have any visitors and are in a bad mood. When one little hippo and one little roo
Aug 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This sequel to Wild About Books continues with the same vivacious spirit of the first. It is winter and the visitors to the zoo start to stay home. All of the animals had the winter blues too. But just when the blues seemed to be inescapable, a very small hippo and young kangaroo started to hop. Soon everyone was dancing along with them and then everyone started to sing. The dancing and singing turned into their own stage show complete with sets and costumes. Once again, the zoo was the place to ...more
Sarah Landwehr
Oct 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
"Zoozical" by Judy Sierra instantly became one of my new favorites after I read the fun story of the zoo animals who, in efforts to get people to come to the zoo during the cold winter, put on a musical, which they call a "zoozical." After practicing the songs with lyrics such as "if you're hoppy and you know it, clap your paws" and "for he's a jolly gorilla," the animals are ready to perform in front of an audience. However, hippo gets stage fright and the kangaroo falls asleep, and the fate of ...more
Jan 21, 2012 rated it did not like it
Have you ever wondered what happens at the zoo when “frosty winds blow, when families stay at home, and when field trips are few”? In Zoozical by Judy Sierra, the answer is: midwinter doldrums!

To be more specific:

Little lemurs stopped leaping
Their yowling was keeping
The wombats awake
Then the snakes (by mistake)
Tied themselves up in knots
Ocelots lost their spots.

How does one get rid of the midwinter doldrums? For the animals at the zoo, all looked lost until a large hippo collapsed, a small hippo
Jun 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Kids who loved the movie "Sing" will enjoy this one. A group of colorful animals put on a Vaudeville-style show to beat the winter blahs.
Although, I had to roll my eyes a bit at the idea of animals who are really bummed out because there are no kids at the zoo. In my experience, many kids behave pretty horribly at zoos and most animals are probably relieved to have a break from their screaming, running, and banging on glass.
Rachel Crowe
This book was so cute. There was a lot of colorful things and all of the animals were happy and excited. The book has all of these characters singing and they look like they are having a lot of fun. This books would definitely come out in my classroom.
Feb 16, 2018 rated it liked it
When bad weather and the winter doldrums set in, the zoo animals band together to put on a blues stopping revue.
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My kindergartners love this one
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Hippopotamuses can't hop. Just that.
Kristen McBee
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Another hit by Judy and Marc.
May 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Like the fun pictures and story line. Fun for kids
May 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Pretty cute. I am prone to dislike rhyming books. They grate on me. But this one, I like. The rhyme rolls right off the tongue, doesn't feel forced, and is full of fun phrases, to boot.

It's winter and no one is coming to the zoo. Families are staying home where it's warm, schools aren't taking field trips to outdoor locations. The animals are bored, bored, bored, until one little hippo hops out of the way of a collapsing large hippo. A tiny kangaroo sees him and hops, too, and soon they're hopp
Amy Forrester
Mar 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It’s a wintery day at the zoo and all the animals are bored. What to do? Put on a show! A ZooZical! They practice their songs, dances, and acrobatics. They paint scenery and sew costumes. That night for the performance, despite the snow, crowds of people arrive at the zoo. The performance is a show-stopping success, the perfect ending to a snowy day.

Sierra’s rhyming text is full of whimsical wordplay and the illustrations are jam-packed with a cast of colorful characters. I especially love that
Karen Gedeon
ZooZical by Judy Sierra and pictures by Marc Brown continues the zoo theme started in Wild About Books where animals read and enjoy literary based skills, but once again the rhymes seem forced. The idea is wonderful: zoo attendance is down thanks to bad weather and the animals are sad so they decide to fix the problem by putting on a show. Calling it ZooZical, all the regulars come out and perform everything from snake hula hoops to crocodiles singing the Alphabet song. Readers will never look a ...more
Julia Jasztal
Feb 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Mommy's review from 9/10/11 -

Julia and I both really love rhyming books and when I flicked through this at the library I knew right away we'd like it. The story is pretty simple, it's basically about a group of zoo animals who get sad when the bad winter weather keeps the people away from the zoo. The animals are going through their boring days, not doing much of anything, when some of them started tapping and singing and twirling which got all of the other animals involved in turn.
The bad weat
Cute. The beginning rhyme took me a bit to get into, but then it flowed for me. And the story was fun. The songs they sang made me smile. I think the kids would enjoy this. Great for a Zoo or Animal theme. Could work in Music as well as Winter.

Perfect lead in to Seal on the Bus, by the way.

2/4/15 Totally forgot how tiny the text was against colorfully busy backgrounds. The book was a little longer than the others I've been doing, but that works as long as I don't pick a lot of long books for one
Oct 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Sophie
Shelves: picture-books
A colorful, rhyming book that is lots of fun. The winter doldrums have hit the zoo.
"Owls did not give a hoot.
Pandas quit being cute."
And just when it seemed that things can't get worse, a little hippo and a little kangaroo start hopping, which encourags the other animals to dance, and the idea of a ZooZical is born! The pictures of the animals singing and dancing (The giraffes sing It's a Tall World After All while the porcupines sing Oh My Darling Porcupine) are bright, colorful, and entertai
Kristin Campbell
Sep 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Caldecott Winner
ZooZical by Judy Sierra and illustrated by Marc Brown is the book that I think should win the Caldecott Award for 2012. This book's illustrations were fantastic! Each picture was very colorful and used bright eye popping colors. The illustrator also used different pencil lines ( horizontal, vetical, and diagonol)that really gave the characters in the book texture. He also did a good job adding expressions to the animal faces, as if you could tell how they were feeling and what wa
Jamie Bye
Oct 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: perspective
It’s snowing in Springfield, Illinois, so much so that the zoo has been closed! The animals are sad because there is nothing fun to do while cooped up inside without any visitors. Then a small hippo hops out of the way of a big hippo, and soon the kangaroos are hopping too. All the animals begin to sing and dance, and they decide to put on a show for the town! They prepare songs and acts, and the whole town comes to watch. This book was illustrated by Marc Brown, the author and illustrator of th ...more
Feb 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Cute book that covers music and emotions.
Paiton Larson
Sep 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
There was so much snow in Springfield, Illinois that the zoo was closed. Bored and sad, the animals sat cooped up inside. A small hippo hopped out of the way of a big hippo, and shortly after the kangaroos began hopping too. All the animals, pandas, tigers, giraffes, monkeys, and many more began to sing and dance. Together, the animals decided to put on a show for the whole town. They prepared different talents, and the whole town came to watch. In the classroom, I would use the rhyming passages ...more
In this rhyming story (the meter’s not always perfect), a zoo has to close early because the doldrums have set in. The animals are surly and uninteresting—even the Ocelot is losing his spots! Until all of a sudden, a large hippo collapses out of boredom. To get out of its way, a smaller hippo hops high into the sky—and is joined by a Kangaroo, who can hop too! Before you know it, all of the animals in the zoo discover their talents and are able to work together to create a musical that they perf ...more
Ashley Ott
Mar 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
•Summary: A baby hippo becomes friends with a baby kangaroo. Together the inspire all of the zoo animals to put on a musical. The whole town comes out despite bad weather to see the animals perform.
•Evaluation: This rhyming book would be good for a read aloud for kindergarten or first graders. It is an easy story to follow along with and could teach vocabulary and rhyming words.

Discussion Questions:
•(Before) What do you think a ZooZical is?
•(Before) What does ZooZical sound like?
Aug 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ncbla
This rhyming text describes how the winter doldrums are chased away by two clever zoo animals, the hippo and the kangaroo, who decide to put on a ZooZical. Their enthusiasm is contagious, and the other animals join them in planning the show. Some of the rhymes are a bit awkward, but with practice, they'll slip off the tongue with ease. Readers will enjoy finding the animal versions of song classics--"Oh my darling/Oh my darling/Oh my darling porcupine." The gouache illustrations of the animals' ...more
Oct 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a delightful rhyming tale about a bunch of animals at the zoo putting on a show during the winter doldrums. The illutrations are very colorful and entertaining and the narrative and snippets of songs are fun to read aloud. We really enjoyed reading this story together.

After reading other reviews here on Goodreads, I see that this book is a sequel to Wild About Books, with both books featuring the zoo animals. We've read both books and they are very humorous and great to read aloud.
Sara Larson
May 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Genre: Modern fantasy
Age: 4-8
Summary: The animals in the zoo are experiencing the winter blues. There is snow everywhere, and the animals are becoming sad. They decide to put on a musical that they call Zoozical. The people from the town hear about it, and on performance night the theatre is packed! The Zoozical cheers all of the animals up, and the townspeople love it.
Reflection: I love Marc Brown's illustrations. My boys and I watch Arthur on PBS quite a bit. I loved the illustrations and the
Taylor Milano
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Dec 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
It’s winter and it’s cold and the weather is miserable. Everyone is down in the doldrums. A group of animals at the zoo decide to put on a musical, adding new lyrics and dance numbers to old songs, to cheer everyone up. The musical, a “zoozical”, is a big hit.

‘Then onto the stage rolls ten seals on a bus,
Barking, “Let’s sing a tune that is all about us!”

The seals on the bus go round and round….’
Nov 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
What happens when the animals at the zoo get the blues? They decide to put on a ZooZical musical. In this rhyming, bouncing text, the animals work together to create a creative and fun play for the residents of Springfield.

This book will make a lovely follow up to Wild About Books, a book that I use as a kindergarten read aloud.
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I took a roundabout path to becoming a children's author. Out of college I did temporary work in offices and libraries, while at night, I wrote poetry and made strange life forms from cloth. When I teamed up with a puppeteer, Bob Kaminski (my husband), I was able to bring my cloth creations to life. We began performing on the streets of San Francisco, at Renaissance fairs, and at schools. After at ...more
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