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My Heart Is Like a Zoo
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My Heart Is Like a Zoo

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  2,208 Ratings  ·  291 Reviews
Welcome to the zoo!

Twenty animals are waiting for you—some are familiar, some may be brand-new.

What are they doing?

How are they feeling?

Are they friends of yours?

Come on in and say hello!

Michael Hall's menagerie invites you and your children to talk about feelings and emotions, explore color and shapes, count the hearts, and meet the animals.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published December 22nd 2009 by Greenwillow Books
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Archit Ojha
Remember those origami lessons you had in school? You used to make shapes and animals you fancied the most. That paper boat which you made in rainy seasons, everyday.

You would be glad to know that only with a shape of heart from a paper, you can create all the animals' pictures.

I was glad to figure out this information and enjoyed the read.
Shawn Thrasher
I'm really torn here. The premise of this book is quite clever, a poem comparing love to different kinds of animals - eager as a beaver, steady as a yak, angry as a bear (why bears should be singled out as angry, I'm not sure). It's sort of like John Donne and Dr. Seuss got together and wrote a poem (in writer's heaven, I guess, considering they are both dead). The illustrations are brightly colored heart shapes, done in a collage to create the different animals, very modern art (a "heartist" ra ...more
More than 300 heart shapes are used in this book to illustrate all of the zoo animals that illustrate qualities of the heart. Big, bold full page illustrations couple with big, simple rhyming text to make this a great read-aloud especially for very young readers. I am going to read this for my February baby well as my older group. For the older group, we'll have an after activity where we will take heart shapes and create our own zoo animal.
May 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was not really sure what to expect from this book. I went into it expecting something completely different than what I got. It was amazing. All of the animals were made out of heart shapes. It had a good rhythm to it. Plus one of the pages said, "Happy as a herd of hippos drinking apple juice" and that just sounds totally Southern. LOVED!
N_stefanie Akwa
My Heart is Like a Zoo, by Michael Hall, is a short picture book that creatively uses heart shapes on every page. Hall colorfully creates twenty different animals one would find at the zoo, and poetically gives the reader one or two short lines about each animal. This book would be great to use during a poetry unit, with many simple examples of alliteration, similes, and rhyme. It could be used to model literary terms for High School ELL and elementary students. Of course, “Happy as a herd of hi ...more
Lisa Mckay
Using zoo animals to rhyme with, this book identifies common emotions. In addition to rhymes, each animal is coupled with an illustration to get a better understanding of how they feel. Readers can relate to the angry face a bear might make or how it feels to leap in the air like a jumpy frog.

I would recommend this book for grades 2nd-3rd. Although this book may seem immature, I immediately thought that it could be a useful tool in getting through some major writer's block. At this age, student
Apr 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hundreds of hearts come together to shape some animals both familiar and exotic in this rhyming romp through the various phases of a child’s heart before they retire after a busy day (as busy as a zookeeper's even!).

My Heart is Like a Zoo (2010) by Michael Hall introduces children to a variety of new concepts beyond emotions and feelings. The varied palette for both animals and backgrounds can introduce colors as easily as the animals themselves can be used for a counting exercise. Hall uses hea
I love this combination of boldly colorful illustrations with cleverly done rhyming text. The animals in the illustrations are made almost entirely out of hearts of various sizes and colors that overlap. It is amazing how such a simple concept can create such adorable, cuddly-looking animals. The text may not be the most amazing thing ever written, but it made me laugh several times. The book had me at the "herd of hippos drinking apple juice."

I don't know that many children will actually get th
Leila T.
Apr 21, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The illustrations are lovely and large and bright. The narrative, however, is a bit awkward in places. The premise is that a child is listing all the attributes of his heart as they are represented by animals, and I don't understand why some of them were chosen over other possible alternatives. The book has already been returned to the library, but one of them I remember was something like "My heart is ... scared like an antelope" (totally paraphrasing). As an adult, I was like, What does that m ...more
My Heart is Like a Zoo, by Michael Hall (2009)
Picture Book, 30 pages
Full of fascinating heart-shaped animals and cleaver similes, My Heart Is Like a Zoo is a whimsical cross between handcrafted Scandinavian hearts and colorful comparisons. Both parents and children will love examining these creatively constructed animals on the colorfully contrasted pages. Teachers may even use this as a great resource to teach basic adjectives or similes. As a possible jumping-point for penning their own simil
The title of the book is what caught my attention for who doesn't figure out that their heart is like a zoo sometimes? But of course being a children book this isn't going to get into the mess and heartaches of a human heart but to explore the newly discovered feelings that children will experience in their own young years.

I love the concept that the book offers in giving feelings a name for children and then matching it up with animals although some of the choices I wonder about how they chos
Ann Nekola
Audience: Primary
Genre: Non-Fiction Picture Book
Fiction Twin Text-Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin

My heart is like a zoo is a story that has a different zoo animal listed on every page. It is a very simple book with few words but really cute pictures. I would use the book Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type as a fiction twin to this book because it has a number of farm animals mentioned in it and also really great pictures. I would use these two books together to expand the stude
Jan 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
This is a very cute book about zoo animals. All the animals are made of hearts and are very colorful. This book could be an introduction for a lesson on alliteration, rhyming, similes or even a simple Valentine's Day story. Because all the animals are made of hearts, students could count how many hearts can be found on one page or even the entire book.

Reading Level: Pre-K- 1st grade

Genre: Picture Book

Topic: Zoo Animals

Use: Read Aloud & Independent Reading

Literary Elements: Alliteration, rhy
This book is great for children in preschool and up. Four years through seven years in my opinion would love this book best. It's a cute take on all the characteristics of the author's heart. This picture book is appealing because of it's colorful pictures of each animal made out of hearts and the emotions on each page for each animal. For example, the book contains emotions such as: brave as a lion, snappy as a crab, and thoughtful as a owl. The book is fast-paced and easy to read and for the c ...more
Amy Forrester
Apr 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All the animals in this colorful and vibrant book, from the hungry heron to the silly seal are created from heart shapes. The book uses animals to express the different kinds of love we can feel, from thoughtful to brave.

Hall’s digital illustrations are precise, yet playful as he manipulates the simple heart shape into different animal forms. The humble heart shape is celebrated by creating brightly colored animals. The rhyming text is brief and full of adjectives and alliteration.

Full Review a
Gwen the Librarian
I really love the idea and the illustrations in this book, but some of the actual simlies are pretty ridiculous, so for that, I can't give it more stars. The author describes his heart as being like many animals and cleverly illustrates each animal with heart shapes in vivid colors. This is great. But remember, we're describing the heart. Where "eager as a beaver" "steady as a yak" and "happy as a herd of hippos drinking apple juice" are qualities that are appropriate for a heart, "snappy as a c ...more
My heart is in love with this title, first it is the graphic design using the heart shape to form the zoo animals, but what a wonderful subtle message using similes to describe what qualities a heart can have A profound piece of art and thought is this picture book.

My favorite: hopeful as a hungry heron fishing for a snack

The only other artist I am aware of that uses this technique of shapes to make animals is the late Charley Harper whose work I adore. Anyone know of other artists using this t
Jan 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feelings
This is an awesome book not only does it teach children about the different feelings they may have it also teaches them that animals have feelings too. I also enjoyed the illustration of this book it is very creative because all the pictures are made of hearts. the book also has lots of exotic animals.

Let the children pick their favorite animal from the story and then they will make that animal with precut hearts. Depending on their age and skill level they may be able to cut the hearts out them
Kristin Fletcher-spear
Mar 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animals
fabulous artwork. Vivid colors. All animals made out of hearts. I could totally see a craft/art lesson using this. I read this a few wks ago @ work, but I shared for nighttime with charlie today. He paid wonderful attention to it. ehe enjoyed the bright colors,the different animals, and when finished with the bk he turned it back to the beginning again.

definitely buying a cop of this for us to keep.
Jan 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Animal, Valentine and zoo requests
Recommended to June by: Eboni
I have used this for programming and it definitely leads into a craft. A different kind of story for Valentine or animal/zoo story times. 1/1/10

Used for story time and the children liked calling out the animals they recognized. 2/11/14

Was very popular at story time this year, though one girl wanted to point out all the hearts. Another boy made his Mom move closer for the story. (Need to remember to print out some of the heart animals to color.) 2/10/15

Used again.
Who could resist that cute lion on the cover!? Certainly not me!!! ;-) I very much enjoyed this sweet little book. The text is simple rhymes, saying all the feelings in one's heart that are like an animal i.e., "my heart is brave as a lion" and so on. The illustrations are the real fun, though, as each animal is made up (some entirely so) of hearts! The final illustration is just perfect and ties everything together beautifully. So creative, and very fun for Valentine's Day, too.
Katie Fitzgerald
Read at family story time on 7/30/11:

Read at Baby Lap Time on 4/19/12 and 4/20/12:

Read at Pajama Story Time on 2/13/13:

Read at Baby Lap Time on 2/14/13:

Read at preschool story time on 2/15/17:
Karen Arendt
Aug 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: storytime
Gorgeous animal book, in which all the animals are created out of heart shapes. The text is short but uses enough interesting words to help build vocabulary (words like "portly"), and the colorful illustrations with their strong shapes are a joy. Could be used for a lot of different storytime themes: animals, shapes, zoo, Valentine's Day, etc.
Scottsdale Public Library
This is a simple, brightly colored, rhyming book about zoo animals – the unique aspect is that all of the illustrations of the animals are entirely made up of “heart” shapes. Great for counting and shape recognition for preschool and early grade school kids... and also animal lovers, of course! ~Hannah V.
April Robertson
Audience: pre K-1st graders

Appeal:Perfect book to teach colors and shapes to younger students. Great pictures and it was a great book for young children. I also believe this would be an amazing book for a Art teacher to show children how to make a picture from a simple shape. Adorable book!

2011 IRA Children's Honor Book
Jun 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teachers, parents, kids
Recommended to Relyn by: I love the author.
YES!! This is the second time Michael Hall has hit a homerun. This is a fantastic author/illustrator. If you are a parent or teacher, rush out and buy his books. They are FULL of inspiration and imagination.

Lesson Connection
This would be a great jumping off point for a class book. Especially if I used it the first week of school to introduce book making. Can't wait!
Mandy Peterson

Audience: ages 2 to 10 interested in art, language, or animals
Appeal: creative pictures using shapes and bold colors, similes help decode unknown words, and general applications
List: IRA Primary Non-fiction 2011

Good for teaching traits, similes, art, and language. Cute book and could teach animals. Lends itself to multiple disciplines. Try to use during week 1 of school this year!
Jan 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hall arranges the heart shape in order to create all sorts of different animals & describes their moods. Excellent rhyme scheme & a great way to introduce different emotions & feelings to young children. You can even omit pages in order to shorten the book for a young toddler audience. Great for Valentine's, shapes, animals.
Ayana Mishelle
I loved loved loved this book. Great for alliteration, counting, colors and shapes, great for kindergarten- 1st grade. this book is also good for discussing feeling and emotions a great book for independent reading and read-a louds .
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