Through with the Zoo

Jacob Grant. Feiwel and Friends, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-250-10814-2
An unsatisfied goat chafes at the confines of the petting zoo he calls home. “Every day the small petting zoo was packed with grabby little hands”—an understandably terrible situation for a goat who doesn’t “want hugs or rubs or anyone near him.” Looking longingly at the “big zoo” nearby, Goat takes the plunge, hoping for privacy and breathing room. Instead, he finds a “clingy koala,” “nosy elephant,” and monkeys that treat him like a jungle gym. Stumbling upon a lone tree, “Goat had more space than he’d ever dreamed of. But was it too much?” Grant (Cat Knit) sets the initial scenes within thick white borders that heighten Goat’s claustrophobia. He leaps into that white space when he makes his escape, and subsequent images fill the spreads to the edge, including after he returns to the petting zoo. Goat’s big eyes telegraph his emotions with gentle humor, and the muted colors and gauzy textures of Grant’s illustrations underscore a sense of empathy that extends to readers (and parents) caught between growing independence and the recognition that “everyone needs a hug now and then.” Ages 2–6. Agent: Steven Chudney, Chudney Agency. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/09/2017
Release date: 11/14/2017
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