Ever since we went to Zoo Lights, Peeper has been talking about the zoo. It’s a good thing we have a ton of favorite children’s books about the zoo on regular rotation!
Peeper is all zoo, all the time. When I say we’re taking Finn for a walk, she says, “Zoo!” When I buckle her into her car seat, she says, “Zoo!” When we brush our teeth, she points to the picture of the rhino in the bathroom and says, “Zoo!” (Yes, we have a photo of a rhino in the bathroom. Don’t you?)
We’ve hit up the zoo a few times since then, and she continues to talk about the otters, tiger, rhino and fish she saw there. (She’s staying mostly mum on the hippos, though, after the recorded hippo calls the zoo plays completely terrified her.)
Luckily, we have a membership, but we just don’t have the time to trot over to see the animals every. single. day. So Peeper gets her zoo fix on my lap in the rocking chair during storytime (which, in our home, is pretty much all the time).
Here, then, are our favorite children’s books about the zoo.
Our favorite children’s books about the zoo
1, 2, 3 to the Zoo, by Eric Carle. Anything by Eric Carle is pretty much a slam dunk around here, and this one is no exception. Peeper counts the animals on the train headed to the zoo (sometimes with her finger, sometimes with her foot, natch) and delights in the final page, which shows the whole gang.
Dear Zoo, by Rod Campbell. In this lift-the-flap book, a child writes to the zoo, asking them to send the perfect pet. But each animal doesn’t quite fit—one is too fierce, another too naughty—until the zookeepers get it right at the end. Peeper loves the peekaboo effect of discovering a lion, snake and giraffe in their crates—even after the millionth read.
Chomp! Zoo, by Heather Brown. Peeper never tires of pulling the tab that opens and closes each animal’s mouth. She makes their noises, too (you should hear her whisper-roar!). I love Brown’s rich, expressive illustrations—I want to head to Powell’s and buy every book she has ever created. (Skeptical? Start with The Robot Book.)
Good Night, Gorilla, by Peggy Rathman. With almost no words, this classic portrays a mischievous gorilla who sneaks the keys away from the zookeeper and springs its friends from their cages. Peeper cracks up at their sneaky antics, and as she gets older, she’ll discover even more details packed into these pages—like the wandering balloon you can spot in every scene.
Do you have favorite children’s books about the zoo? Let me know! I’ll add them to our collection.