cover image The Petting Zoo

The Petting Zoo

Jack Hanna, Lucy Herring. Doubleday Books, $10.95 (18pp) ISBN 978-0-385-41694-8

This enticing book, a sort of extended version of Pat the Bunny , literally enables youngsters to get a feel for a variety of zoo animals. On the eight spreads, little fingers can--through the use of simulated materials--ruffle a flamingo's feathers, feel a giraffe's horn, rub a llama's fur and sample other intriguing surfaces. Adjectives can be learned, too, on this tactile trip; each one--fuzzy, velvety, scratchy, slippery, etc.--is italicized in the straightforward text for easy identification. In the various creatures' coloration and markings, Brennan's accomplished artwork is appropriately realistic. Questions concerning several of the creatures further the book's interactive potential, and can lead to zoological discussions--in addition to the flamingo, ``Who else has a long neck?''; about the giraffe, ``Are all horns soft?'' The textured elements are contained in small patches on the comb-bound pages; from there it's only a short trip, kids will hope, to the nearest zoo. All ages. (Mar.)