Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Opposite Zoo” as Want to Read:
The Opposite Zoo
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Opposite Zoo

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  354 ratings  ·  71 reviews
From the creator of A Book of Sleep and A Book of Babies comes a beautiful new book of animals—and opposites!
The sky is dark and the Opposite Zoo is CLOSED. But the monkey's cage is OPEN! Time to explore. . .
Follow the monkey as he visits all the animals in the zoo: fast and slow, big and small, noisy and quiet, soft and prickly! Filled with energetic illustrations,
Hardcover, 24 pages
Published March 8th 2016 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Opposite Zoo, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Opposite Zoo

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.61  · 
Rating details
 ·  354 ratings  ·  71 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Il Sung Na's illustrations really make this simple, lovely picture book come to life. I have to say, it does bear quite a resemblance to Petr Horacek's "Animal Opposites", but Il's newest picture book encourages a more cohesive narrative throughout. By setting the animals in the context of an "opposite zoo", readers will find themselves in a lively story told through Il's beautifully detailed pictures and simple text.
Laura Harrison
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I wish I could give The Opposite Zoo 10 stars. There is a mystical, child-like quality to this picture book that is incredibly difficult to achieve. If anyone remembers spin art from fairs and amusement parks during the 70's-it has that bright, helter skelter, original quality but in a professional manner. Each page is a glorious wonder. Bravo!
Erik This Kid Reviews Books
Dec 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a nice, simple book about a monkey going around the zoo and seeing all of the opposites there. There are minimum words (one spread only says “Tall short”), and make it an easy book for kids to try to read. Families could have a nice time reading this book together, and it really helps if you read the opposites in funny voices out-loud
Reading Rainbow Community
Apr 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A sweet book for young animal-lovers illustrating opposites through zoo animals. Il Sung Na's images are colorful and appealing.
Joshua Mooney
Jan 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: pre-k-0-4
This board book is about a monkey's adventure at the opposite zoo. As the monkey swing by different exhibits in the zoo, he notices different things that make his animal friends unique. The monkey notices that the other animals are different sizes, colors, and textures. As well as different social as in noisy or quite. In the end, the sun comes up and the monkey is put back in his cage and the opposite zoo is open for the day.

This book examines the idea that not everything is the same. Which is
Melissa Brosius
The Opposite Zoo is an early concept picture book about a curious monkey who escapes his cage one night after the zoo closes. He goes to see the other animals in the zoo, which are described in pairs of opposite textures, colors, and sizes. The beautiful ink and watercolor Illustrations and the simple text of this picture book make it easy for young readers to learn the concept of opposites.
Alli Burke
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In this early concept picture book, Na does a remarkable job adding color and descriptions on every page. It includes a hidden monkey on every page, making it a game for readers to spot at every page turn. The broad strokes and vibrant illustrations do not take away from the opposing animals throughout the book. Looking at a zoo at nighttime has never been more bright and inviting.
Format: Picture book
Bree Riley
Nov 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This one has the cutest illustrations of the 3 Il Sung Na books I've read so far. Scribbly and bright and endearing. His stories seem to be pretty simple but they always explore a theme (animal habitats, opposites) so they're perfect for kids who are learning vocabulary and kids who are starting to learn conversation (I don't know what age that is. Micah's not there yet ha ha)
Rita Salfetnikova
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Copyright: 2016
Genre: Picture book
This is a story about the zoo and how every animal at the zoo has an opposite. I would read this story to kids to teach them about what opposites are. This is a book for young children pre-k.
May 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A simple book of opposites for the youngest (eventual) readers.
Jo Oehrlein
May 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
At night, the monkey leaves his cage to visit all the different animals in the Opposite Zoo.
Annie Lee
Really dynamic illustrations with a monkey that you follow through each page.
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
Teaches opposites with animals you'd see in the zoo. The illustrations are big enough for storytime or lapsit. Good for toddlers and preschool.
Dec 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Cute! This would be a good book for an opposites themed storytime.
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pre school, Kinder!
Mar 10, 2017 rated it liked it
capricious monkey exits his cage and explores the zoo looking for opposites in his fellow animals. Nice illustrations but strictly a concept type book.
Donna Mork
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: opposites
Cute book of opposites. Some animals sleeping, some awake, some are black, some are white, some are hairy, some are not.
Chacha Centeno
Short enough for a baby storytime. I do wish the illustrations and text were a bit bolder for younger children. I like Il Sung Na's books, they are easily used for storytimes.
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Such a clever, fun way to demonstrate the concept of opposites and beautifully illustrated. Vibrant colors and lush textures.
Whole And
I LOVE the illustrations here, the way colours are used with ink, simply delightful and inspiring.
I'm not sure the story line works though, it's not clear how this zoo is 'opposite.'

Sue Mosher
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fun board book. A tour through a zoo, naming animals that are opposites of each other in different ways. The art is really cool.
Nancy Kotkin
Text: 3 stars
Illustrations: 3 stars

This picture book uses animals to explore opposites. A curious monkey tours the zoo after hours, visiting the other animals. Bold, colorful, almost frenetic illustrations help to indicate movement.
Elizabeth Moreau Nicolai
Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Lovely illustrations as always and a fun one for baby storytime to introduce opposites. Simple and easy.
Paige M
Jan 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Not sure if I'd use it in storytime.
It's late at night and the monkeys are out of their cage. Off to explore they see a tall giraffe and a short pig; a slow sloth and fast cheetah; a shy monkey and a bold peacock. There are many other opposites to see in the opposite zoo. But you better be quick! The sun's coming up!
Katie Fitzgerald
This review also appears on my blog, Read-at-Home Mom.

The Opposite Zoo (ISBN: 9780553511277), while a bit reminiscent of Goodnight, Gorilla, is a beautifully illustrated book featuring pairs of zoo animals who exhibit opposite characteristics. Because our review copy was an unbound galley, I couldn't share it with Miss Muffet very easily, but we did read it a couple of times, and she really loved the artwork. She wanted to look carefully at each picture, and she wanted to know the names of the a
Although this sort of thing has done before, the illustrations in this lovely picture book stand out and enable readers to drench their senses in the sights and sounds of various animals in a zoo. Because the animals are contrasted in various ways--for instance, whether they are hairy or bald, shy or bold, soft or prickly, readers have a chance to learn about opposites in a creative and visually-appealing way. I don't particularly care for the framing of the monkey who explores the zoo when the ...more
Roben Closs
Dec 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: zoos, animals, opposites
Monkey is exploring the zoo after hours and discovering opposites along with animal friends!
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

This is a great picture book for story times at all ages. With older kids you could integrate this with a fun activity on animals, with toddlers it's a great pick for talking about animals, colors, and adjectives and for Mother Goose time it would be a good introduction to adjectives and animals as well. Beyond story times, it's a vibrantly illustrated, simple and fun picture book for kids to look at
May 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I always love Il Sung Na's playful illustrations, and this is no exception. The Zoo is closed, but the monkey's cage is open as the story begins monkey's journey around the Opposite Zoo. I could easily see asking children to point out the various types of animals featured during a storytime, as well as exploring the colors in a one-on-one setting. Beautiful watercolors. An opposite book that doesn't make you want to fall asleep!
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Black? White! Day? Night! - A Book of Opposites (Neal Porter Books)
  • What’s the Opposite? (The Hueys)
  • Cricket Song
  • Bear Is Not Tired
  • Big, Bigger, Biggest!
  • Marta! Big & Small
  • A Hop Is Up
  • Hush Little Polar Bear
  • Happy
  • My Bus
  • Blocks
  • Big Bug
  • Hello Hello
  • Walter's Wonderful Web
  • Hands Can
  • Swim, Duck, Swim!
  • ABC Dream
  • At the Same Moment, Around the World
See similar books…
Born in Seoul, South Korea, Il Sung Na studied illustration at Kingston University in London.