Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fraidy Zoo

Fraidy Zoo, by Thyra Heder (text & illustrations)
(Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2013)
hb., 48 pp.
Ages 3-8

This is a wonderfully fun, beautifully illustrated, cleverly conceived book! My younger children, my wife & I really enjoyed it.

The story revolves around a family planning to go to the zoo, but the younger daughter is afraid. She can’t remember what she is afraid of, so mom, dad and the older daughter try guessing what it is that scared her before. They run through a list of animals, not stating the animals name but dressing up like the animal and mentioning some characteristic of the animal. For the first three guesses they explicitly ask if the animal starts with an A, or a B or a C. When they stopped make this explicit, we read a few more pages before it dawned on me that they were still working their way letter by letter through the alphabet! (I don’t think that will be a spoiler because everyone else will probably pick up on that right away. My wife did!)

The pictures of the family dressing up like animals are very creative, and it was fun with the kids figuring out what animal they were referring to. The inside back cover has what appears simply to be a collection of kids art work which is actually a key to which animal went with each letter. I won’t tell how the story resolves, but the conclusion was also a fun, surprising twist.

This book was a fun experience that our children have wanted to return to again and again. We have seen new things in the pictures with each re-reading and will likely discover some more hidden facets in the future. Also, the portrayal of a loving family caring for and enjoying one another (with significant patience) is superb.

Apparently this is Mrs. Heder’s first picture book. Kudos to her for producing such an excellent work.

We warmly commend this book to your family as an experience of and example of good family fun. 

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home