Put Me in the Zoo
Written and illustrated by Robert Lopshire
This little "Bright and Early Board Book" was a hand-me-down book from another family. We like it so much, I bought it for my sister's baby. It's about some strange creature who is desperate to get put in the zoo, and to prove he belongs there, he shows how he can make his spots change color. The two astounded children in the story suggest he might be better off in the circus. And there you have it.
If you don't mind the weird premise (please put me in a cage!), the book has a lot of visual excitement for little babies. The contrasting spots change from page to page. Our baby would actually grab the page to turn it back and look at the spots on the previous page again, like she was noticing the color change.
Babies love bright, contrasting patterns!
The text is an homage to long vowel sounds, with a particular emphasis on the "oo" sound. It is very sing-songy and fun to read. And easy to memorize without even trying!
One critique-- I think there is a missed opportunity at the end. When we see the circus on the last page, we just see the tents from the outside, from a distance. If someone didn't know the circus (like the very young children reading this book), how would they understand why this strangely talented creature belonged there? Even just a couple of monkeys on unicycles would have done it...