Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “1, 2, 3 to the Zoo” as Want to Read:
1, 2, 3 to the Zoo
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

1, 2, 3 to the Zoo

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  1,886 ratings  ·  189 reviews
Joyously colored animals, riding on a train to the zoo, offer youngsters a first introduction to numbers, number sets, addition and counting in Eric Carle’s first picture book. A gate-fold spread at the back of the book, featuring the whole wonderful animal train, adds to the fun! Each car on the train has one more zoo animal than the one before, from the first car with an ...more
Board book, 20 pages
Published July 16th 1996 by Philomel Books (first published 1968)
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 1, 2, 3 to the Zoo, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about 1, 2, 3 to the Zoo

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,886 ratings  ·  189 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of 1, 2, 3 to the Zoo
Jan 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Carle builds a train page by page, number by number, with different animals on each car. The number of the page is represented at top left corner. At bottom margin (underneath track) is recap of what has already been built. A mouse visits each car. Final spread show all the animals at the zoo, and an empty train at the bottom. I am bemused by the number of reviews here complaining about the lack of text, as if no words makes it incomplete or not challenging for readers. It's called visual litera ...more
Maddie McCaig
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
• Genre: Picture Book – Counting
• Awards: none
• Audience: All ages
• Summary: This counting book uses a train car with ten different types of animals on their way to the zoo to familiarize young readers with numbers 1-10.
• A. How do you know this book fits in this specific category?
o This book uses drawings and text to familiarize young readers with the numbers
• B. Describe one of the visual elements of the book and how the illustrator used the element to contribute to the story.
o Carles uses col
A delightful number book with Eric Carle's classic artwork. My youngest two children are always asking me to read it to them. ...more
A good book for helping children to count to ten.
Meghan Klyczek
Sep 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: counting
This book is just adorable! I loved how it had no words in it and was strictly just pictures with a number in the top left hand corner. It was almost as if this book encouraged a non-reading student to go at their own pace through the book. Encouraging them too look at the illustration, then at the number, and making a connection between the actual number and the actual illustration. I really enjoyed the illustrations and how they almost looked water-color painted on the spread. I also thoroughl ...more
Samantha Mcdowell
Feb 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: counting
I thought this was a vibrantly colored counting book that is great for children. The book has no words, so it is perfect for children who can't quite read on their own yet. However, it is also great for a little bit older audience that is just learning numbers and how to count. Younger (pre-reading) children can enjoy the pictures of the animals riding the train to their new homes at the zoo and the slightly older children can count the animals as a new one gets added each time and follow the tr ...more
Dec 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: t-l-307
This is a great counting book for children. I would recommend this book for preschoolers. They can physically count the animals on the page to see how many there are. This is an age where things have to be fun, engaging, and intriguing and Eric Carle does a great job at maintaining all of those things in this children's book. In the pages, each car on the train has one more zoo animal than the page before did. The first is a car with one elephant and the last one is a car with ten birds. Some of ...more
Mar 18, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
We began today's story time with this book (only the first three pages). After singing the usual greeting song (The More We Get Together) and segue-to-theme song (Hello Everybody, Let's...)finishing with the phrase "count to three".

The first page features a train engine and coal car. "Who likes trains?" I asked to an enthusiastic crowd. I turned to the first page where an elephant is pictured on a flat-bed car. "I thought today we would tell the story about Goldilocks and the Elephant," I began.
Feb 26, 2017 added it
• Book title and author/illustrator
o 1, 2, 3 To The Zoo
o Written and Illustrated by Eric Carle
• Personal Response to Reviews:
1) Marilyn Courtot (Children’s Literature)
Hurry up and get aboard the train. A collection of animals ranging from one very large elephant to five pairs of birds is headed for the zoo. As each number and the corresponding number of animals is introduced, another car is added to the train running along the bottom of the page. Once at their destination, the cars are em
Britney Padilla
Children grades 1-3.
This book is all about numbers and animals. It takes place on a train as all the animals travel towards the zoo. On each set of pages is a brightly colored number on the top left for the corresponding number of animals per freight car. The beginning pages show the train engine and the conductor starting the journey. The numbers go from one through ten as the illustrations show an elephant, hippos, giraffes, lions, bears, alligators, seals, monkeys, snakes, and birds. The endi
Karli Whitaker
Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Picture Book-Counting Book
Laura Ingalls Award 2003
Audience: PreK-K

- The book 1,2,3 TO THE ZOO fits perfectly into this category because it combines simple counting with unusual illustrations of animals which makes it fun and interactive for children. Early learners will find the whimsical pictures appealing as they learn the beginning rudiments of numbers and counting.

- The coloring in this book was done really well for the age group it is driven towards. It is creative and almost a wordless
Blaire Harris
123 to the Zoo is another phenomenal picture book illustrated by Eric Carle. The book is very simple and straight to the point as each page is a number counting up to 10 using zoo animals to represent the given number. Eric Carles illustrations are different, colorful, and whacky. None of the animals looked the exact same which I liked most. You can see this on the page with the giraffes and the lions. Not only is this book teaching numbers and counting it is also showing diversity. I especially ...more
Jun 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Nothing exceptional content-wise, but lovely Carle illustrations are worth rounding it up to a 4.

Have used it in storytimes, and it works well. Can fit for trains, animals, counting... whatever you want. Easy to incorporate in naming the animals on the train, what sounds do they make, 'can you show me your elephant trunks/alligator chomps?' and so on - build it into a little more than just a counting book.
Goshen PL Childrens
I love Eric Carle's illustrations and this was no exception. It is a simple counting book, but shows the full train with each added car at the bottom of the page, so you watch the train grown longer with each addition. The very last page spread shows all of the animals in the zoo and the train at the bottom has ten empty cars. ...more
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: foundation, maths, ks1
This book is a great book for counting and also addition. The illustrations that accompany the numbers are so colourful and attractive. The train at the bottom is the best bit and would be great for getting the children to draw in their own pictures and having to work out how many go on the top and how many on the bottom.
Nicholas Mennel
Apr 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Contemporary Realistic Fiction
This book is an excellent early childhood reading option. It brings numbers and counting to life through its lively animations and fun storyline. All of the animals are sure to ignite any child's sense of wonder and curiosity into the world around them, and offers an excellent opportunity to practice introductory math skills.
Edward Sojuwa
Jul 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Gorgeous watercolor pictures highlight this 1 to 10 counting book from legendary Eric Carle. A big circus train chugs by with ten types of animals for the zoo, and readers 2-6 get to count how many are in each cage, from hippos to gators, each number of animals in each cage to go along with a certain number 1 to 10. It's pure colorful joy!
Four stars
Count to ten, and Eric Carle does it again!
Shannon Futrell
The book is very colorful. It exemplifies numbers as pertaining to a train carrying animals to the zoo. This book can help children learn numbers. Children will like it because of the different animals.
This wouldn’t be a book I would keep in the classroom if I taught first graders or above. However, I could keep this in the classroom if I taught kindergarteners. I liked how towards the bottom of each page it added on to the train, this allows the reader to review what all they have read.
Oct 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction-children
A train takes animals to the zoo, with an increasing number on each car. It's set apart from other counting books by Carle's fun art and the lack of text, leaving it up to readers to create their own story. ...more
Caroline O'Brien
Nov 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lovely illustrations and clever story (with the trailers filling up along the bottom of the pages) but sometimes we found it hard to count the animals as they were quite close together and overlapping - tricky for little brains!
Ellie Abrey
A good book for teaching children to count. There is not any text, so this can be used with any languages you see fit - this could be a good opportunity to increase the languages used within the classroom (especially within an early years setting).
May 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
What I love best about Eric Carle - wonderful illustrations and a simple story. This would be a fun counting book for storytime.
Colorful animals on a train on their way to the zoo help the reader with numbers. Wonderful Carle book.
Dec 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids-books
This could work as the basis for a kinder program
Georgette Quinn
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love that this isn’t just a numbers book. It is more It is also matching numbers and pictures and counting. Super cute.
Mar 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love Eric Carle books! This one is great for learning to count.
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would recommend this book for preschoolers. They can physically count the animals on the page to see how many there are. This is an age where things have to be fun, engaging, and intriguing.
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
I always love Eric Carle, and this is great for the youngest or non-native speakers.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
  • I Love You Through and Through
  • Big Red Barn
  • Snuggle Puppy! (Boynton on Board)
  • Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?
  • Moo, Baa, La La La!
  • Barnyard Dance
  • Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See?
  • The Fat Cat Sat on the Mat
  • The Berenstain Bears: We Love Soccer!
  • The Bike Lesson
  • Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?
  • Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb
  • Sheep in a Jeep
  • Adelita: A Mexican Cinderella Story
  • Richard Scarry's Please and Thank You Book
  • A Color of His Own
  • The Napping House
See similar books…
Eric Carle (born June 25, 1929) is a children's book author and illustrator, most famous for his book The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which has been translated into over 30 languages. Since The Very Hungry Caterpillar was published in 1969, Eric Carle has illustrated more than seventy books, many best sellers, most of which he also wrote, and more than 71 million copies of his books have sold around ...more

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
55 likes · 13 comments